When you think of Black people and the various parts of the world they’re from, I’d bet you Vienna, Austria wouldn’t be high on your list! But that’s exactly where today’s guest for Tales from the 2.9 is originally from, and it’s always interesting to get a read on the Black Canadian experience from the outside in and not simply focus on all the voices who grew up in it, largely speaking a common language because it’s what we’ve always known.
Rachel’s entry touches on the difference in being Black in Austria and being Black in Canada, as well as what it is that’s built Black culture to where it is today in North America!
Check it out below!
Marketing and Creative professional with over 8 years of luxury CPG and product development experience, with a focus on branding, brand awareness and sales.
Owner and Lead Designer for Smthng New Invitation & Stationery.
1) When you think of Black History Month, what are some of the stories and images that come to mind?
What really surprises me is the dozens of pioneers and rich history that exists within North America. The many brave and courageous men and women that gave their lives for the privileges of today.
2) The Black Experience we’re largely exposed to in the media is that of our southern neighbours and the struggles they’ve faced. What’s your experience been as a Black person in Canada, and what have you learned from it?
My experience has been quite interesting. I am originally from Austria, Vienna and the environment was very different, people there are much more reserved and straight-forward.
Toronto is different, I love the multiculturalism and inclusion in this city. Struggles I personally faced were my own language barrier and understanding the cultural norm.
I never heard of Black History Month until I moved to this end of the continent.
3) In sharing your voice with the world, what impression do you hope to leave on the world with everything you do?
That’s a very good question. Personally, I try to make an impact in people’s lives through my work, friendship and using my knowledge to create opportunities.
4) We all benefit from good mentors who guide us along the way to make sure we reach our potential in life. Who was your mentor to teach you from a cultural standpoint, and what’s the greatest lesson you learned from them?
My parents. They have a saying: “Never forget whose child you are.” It’s very important because it talks about the pride and love a parent has for you, and their expectations.
5) If you could say just one thing to the rest of the 2.9%, what would it be?
Tales from the 2.9 is an ongoing series on CaseyPalmer.com showcasing Black Canadian content creators and the experiences they’ve had growing up Black in Canada!