Shaun Boothe is a fixture in the Toronto hip hop community, one we have been proud to host a number of times at Crestwood. He first visited The CHC classes in 2011, where he showed Mr. Masters’ and Mr. Hawkins’ classes an alternative approach to modern history, using hip hop as a means to teach about some key figures in recent history. These can be seen at http://shaunboothe.com/1.0/biography-series/.
We were so impressed that we had to have him back, and he was the keynote, end-of-day speaker at Crestwood’s First Diversity and Human Rights Symposium in November 2013, where he delivered a message of hope to hundreds of students from schools all across Toronto. This year he visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage. The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.
John T. Davis is a legend on the Toronto music scene, where he is known professionally as a high energy jazz/blues/gospel organ player. The Hammond B3 Organ is his instrument of choice, but he also plays the piano and synthesizer, and sings.
John also arranges music, playing originals and standards of many diverse styles, both instrumental and vocal, written by the many great musicians who have influenced him over time. John was born in Virginia in 1945, where he grew up and went to school against the backdrop of the Jim Crow of the segregated American South.
We were pleased to host John at Crestwood this year. He visited us in February with Shaun Boothe and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage. The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.
Shelley Hamilton is a singer/entertainer based in Toronto, and one we have gotten to know very well over the years at Crestwood. Shelley is a woman of many talents, whose diverse portfolio can be seen at her website at http://www.shelleyhamilton.ca/. She has done supply teaching here and has been involved in many Black History Month initiatives at Crestwood. These have included vocal workshops, historical studies of the Harlem Renaissance, and performances of her one woman play “A New Hope”, based on the historical accounts of John Clarkson’s mission to America in 1791 to improve the conditions of the Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia and to promote the colonization of Sierra Leone in Africa. The storyteller, through the voices of those who made the journey to Nova Scotia, tells of their hardships and hopes for a better life in this new land. The show has received widespread acclaim, and we were proud to host it at Crestwood.
This year Ms. Hamilton visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shaun Boothe, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage. The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.
Mr. Masters and Mr. Hawkins are happy to announce the winners of this year’s Black History Month competition. We had many impressive submissions this year, covering topics as varied as Rosa Parks and Kardinal Offishal. Students showed the amazing contributions to North American culture and history by African-Americans and African-Canadians. Selecting a winner and a runner up was no easy task, but after much deliberation, the decision has been made. Our runner up, and winner of $50, is Sabrina Wasserman for her comic on Canadian Opera sensation Measha Brueggergosman. And the grand prize winner, for her comic featuring a time travelling Jackie Robinson, is Marina Morris. Good work ladies- and thank you to all those who participated in the contest.
Leonard Braithwaite was born in interwar Toronto, growing up in the downtown neighbourhood of Kensington Market. As the Great Depression took hold, the young Leonard went to school and helped his family out by selling newspapers. When World War Two came along, Leonard decided to enlist, only to be put off by a series of recruiting officers unwilling to take African-Canadians into the Canadian Forces. Undeterred, Leonard continued to try, eventually earning his place as an RCAF mechanic. After training in various parts of Canada, he was stationed overseas in England near the end of the war. On his return Leonard continued his schooling and earned a law degree – he still runs his practice in Etobicoke. Along the way he also served in Ontario’s provincial parliament and even became the first African-Canadian cabinet minister in Ontario. Leonard has received both the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
He was interviewed for this project by Crestwood students Matt Petrei, Cathy Kim, Andrew Spanton, and Ashley Audette.
admin July 9th, 2012