MEET THE BLACK CANADIAN ARTISTS PUSHING FOR MORE CHANGE MONTHS AFTER GEORGE FLOYD MOVEMENT

Global News spoke to four emerging members of Toronto’s Black arts community to gauge whether there had been a shift in their industry in the fight against anti-Black racism and the push for more diverse representation.

Months after a racial reckoning spanned North America in response to George Floyd’s death, Black Canadian artists say there’s been progress in their field — but there is still a long way to go.

Global News spoke to four emerging members of Toronto’s Black arts community to gauge whether there had been a shift in their industry in the fight against anti-Black racism and the push for more diverse representation.

Here’s what they had to say.

Miro Oballa

Miro Oballa is an entertainment and media lawyer who launched a not-for-profit organization called “Advance” last year. The organization launched in response to the George Floyd movement.

The group aims to have Black talent agents and managers represent Black musicians, something that Oballa claims happens more commonly in the U.S. than in Canada.

“I think by not having Black people in senior positions and decision-making roles for Black artists, what’s lost is a preservation of the cultural understanding of some of the values and motivations and things that are driving those artists to create that music,” Oballa said.

Miro Oballa created an organization called Advance, aimed at putting more Black people in decision-making roles in Canada’s music industry.
Miro Oballa created an organization called Advance, aimed at putting more Black people in decision-making roles in Canada’s music industry.

He adds that there’s been an early wave of support for his organization, even in its infancy.

“The industry is working with us and they’re taking steps and talking to us — and you can see a lot of change wants to be made.”

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