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Trey Anthony on why some mothers struggle to say 'I love you'

Da Kink in My Hair creator Trey Anthony on the love lost and gained between black migrant mothers and their daughters.

Playwright and performer Trey Anthony came to attention with Da Kink in My Hair, her critically-acclaimed comedy set in a Caribbean-Canadian hair salon. The play later became the first Canadian primetime show to be written and produced by a Black Canadian woman. 

Now Anthony is back with a new play, How Black Mothers Say I Love You. She joins Shad to discuss her emotional look at a mother geographically separated from her children, and the larger issue of the relationships between economic migrants and the kids they leave behind.
How Black Mothers Say I Love You tells the story of Daphne, a Jamaican mother of two who leaves her daughters behind to find work in Canada. (Press Play Not Pause/YouTube)

Anthony draws from personal experience, as she — like her mother before her — struggled with feelings of abandonment when her mom left for Canada. She remembers reaching major milestones without her mom and thinking, "if my mother hasn't chosen me, who else is going to choose me?"

As an adult, Anthony now understands that the painful decision to leave your family is much more complicated than a child can understand. 

"Some of us get carried away with the Hallmark mother's day card," she says, "This was her best, this was her absolute best."

WEB EXTRA | How Black Mothers say I Love You tells the story of Daphne, a Jamaican mother of two who leaves her daughters behind to find work in Canada. Watch the short trailer below. 


Plus, Anthony's candid documentary When Black Mothers Don't Say I Love You, was the precursor to the play. Watch it below. 
 
In 'How Black Mothers Say I Love You', Trey Anthony reflects on the love lost and gained between black migrant moms and their daughters. (Ben Jamieson/CBC)

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