Letter from the Editor: September 2016

Godwin Ifedi Editor

Godwin Ifedi

Good morning all

Our September edition is rightly dominated by the Black Lives Matter movement, with special focus on the tragic death of Abdirahman Abdi, following an encounter with the Ottawa Police back in July. Black Ottawa Scene joins all Ottawa residents, and not just the Black community, in demanding total transparency during the investigation by the provincial Special Investigations Unit.  And we also wish to emphasize that it can no longer be business as usual for the Ottawa Police; they simply have to revisit their strategies and tactics when dealing with residents, regardless of their race, in situations where the individual concerned is in no apparent danger of harming others, as was the case with Abdirahman. His tragic death is one death too many, especially for people of colour who already have suspicions around racial profiling within those charged with protecting our society at large. We cannot easily forget the case of the infamous cell block incident, a couple of years ago, in which an inebriated young black woman was humiliated and abused by police officers while lying helplessly on the floor. Black Ottawa Scene will continue to track similar incidents now and in the future to ensure equitable treatment of all Ottawa residents by the police.

This edition brings an anthology of essays and poems by seven rather angry young Black men and women on the issue of the relationship of the police and people of colour. Led by our Youth Editor, Kika Otiono, they provide their own perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement, with a lively and inspirational title: When Will I Be Free?

The popular Fotorama is back with a photo gallery by upcoming photographer, Abdul-Aziz Garuba Jnr.  Our regular columnist Dr. Helen Ofosu continues with her Building Resilient Careers with advice for aspiring professionals

Our Top Story features one of Ottawa’s most respected community leaders, Rev. Anthony Bailey, showcasing his award from the Rotary Club for outstanding community service. And speaking of awards, we also feature the Welcoming Ottawa award given to an outstanding immigrant from the Ivory Coast, Diomande Maoua.

Here is the result of the August 2016 survey:

Do you approve of the tactics used by the Black Lives Matter movement?

Yes 46%

No 54%

Thank you to all who voted. and don’t forget to take part in the September survey about what you would do with a $5 million lottery win. And keep the letters to the Editor coming; we want to hear your views on all matters relating to our community.

All these and more in the September edition. Enjoy!

Godwin Ifedi


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