Inspired by the unfortunate murder of George Floyd, the many Canadian black men who took to social media to express their sadness, anger and despair, and the resulting sense of brotherhood and solidarity, SHIFTER magazine is launching its first annual Outstanding Black Men in Canada list. The list will honour and celebrate the black sons, fathers, leaders, and entrepreneurs who are having an impact at home, at work, in the community, and in the country.
SHIFTER editor-in-chief, Kevin Bourne, says of the new initiative, “Seeing so many black men across Canada take to TV, radio and social media to express the same emotions I felt made me feel a sense of love, brotherhood and solidarity with my fellow black men in Canada I’d never felt before. We need to honour each other, not only for what we do in our careers, but for what we do at home and in the community. We need to counteract the negative perceptions society has of black men by telling the stories of black men who are having a positive impact. We don’t want the stories of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey and Christian Cooper to just die. There’s an opportunity here for lasting change.”
Prior to the murder of George Floyd, Toronto lost one of its rising stars in hip-hop, Houdini. For SHIFTER’s editor, this new annual list is about creating a culture where black men honour each other instead of killing each other.
“I believe that creating a culture where black men honour and celebrate each other as brothers, and aren’t afraid to show love to each other, can go a long way in helping to make sure we don’t lose more of our young men to violence”, Bourne noted.
Canadians have until June 14th to nominate deserving men from across Canada. The long list of nominees will be shortened by SHIFTER’s editorial team before being voted on by a jury. Winners will be announced the week of Fathers’ Day.
Click here to nominate an Outstanding Black Man in Canada.