Monday, March 27, 2017

This Is What It's Like To Be Black In Alberta - HUFFINGTONPOST

by Makeda Waterman 
Originally published: March 23, 2017
Publisher: Huffingtonpost.com 

The world looks at Canada as a culturally neutral country. But the so called "melting pot of the North" is really... just Toronto. Western Canada is nowhere near the pot.

As a native Torontonian, I moved to Edmonton about three years ago. Most of my friends left Ontario when Alberta's economy was strong and every year that went by they encouraged me to come for the endless opportunities. They warned me about the racism here, but I thought they were exaggerating. I thought that if Ontario welcomes diversity, Western Canada can't be that different.

When I landed at Edmonton International Airport, it felt like I moved to Texas. There were retail stores that sold cowboy hats, hunting gear and some white people looked at me as if I were a ghost. It was only the beginning of the culture shock.