Understanding and Awareness

Tamika / Product of Change

An immigrant from a 3rd world country called Jamaica. At a young age ready and willing to embark on what Canada had to offer, eyes filled with hope, innocence and faith. Little did I know I would inherit a bunch of social stigmas that would try to hinder my big dreams. Being a female and being black is said to be the biggest setback. Both had to fight and are still fighting for freedom & equal rights & opportunity. My Jamaican roots urges me to want the best out of life, want better for my people and urges me to be bigger than their social stigmas. In Canada, I've spent majority of my teenage years in a neighborhood called Jane & Finch. A neighborhood that is falsely portrayed in the mainstream media as predominantly violent. Yes, violence does exist just like any other neighborhood but it's more highlighted in the low income area's which gives the residents there a disadvantage at just about everything. Originating from a poor country, then living in a poor community made me susceptible to societies labels. Just another young black uneducated thug, causing mischief was what they seen in me. I made it my duty to prove them wrong. I finished school went on to university, secured a good job, and co-founded a magazine that spoke truths about communities that mirrored my own. All because they said I couldn't. So now when they see another black girl from the ghetto I'm hoping that they see change. Not so much in ourselves because black women are forever evolving but change within themselves and what they perceive us to be. 

Tamika Johnson