Editor's letter, Summer 2020: The diaspora issue

The diaspora issue

 

I actually dislike the word “diaspora”.

It implies that racialized ethnic groups have had to scatter across the globe trying to escape / survive colonialization, which is a word almost exclusively used for the takeover of land, resources and culture by white folks and white rules.

Practically speaking, the word “diaspora” does not apply to settlements of white people.

(NB: The Irish diaspora does exist; however, it is mostly the outcome of mass starvation and disease rather than imperialism, though we recognize the impact of economic neglect by the government at the time.)

However, to borrow a note from my idol Missy Elliott, I’d like to “flip it and reverse it”, because while the word “diaspora” accurately reflects the fragmented makeup of our global society today, there’s still a lot to celebrate.

While steeped in long, painful histories, the evolution of Indigenous, African, Indian and Chinese diasporas (among many others) has given rise to some incredible languages, cuisine and culture that I wholeheartedly cherish and take lots of creative inspiration from.

Our Summer 2020 issue is dedicated to my Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) friends, without whose faces, food, culture and song I wouldn’t feel at home, not even 30+ years after immigrating to Canada.

Cheers,

Debbie

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