I’ll admit it—with Tales from the 2.9‘s successful completion, I almost felt like resting on my laurels and taking the day off. I mean, this year was easily far bigger than I’d expected, running the media circuit, coordinating with contributors, writing heaps of social shares for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn… it’d be so easy to just pat myself on the back and take a break until the next great initiative. Let’s face it—I am but one man.
But sitting on my haunches didn’t get me here—it was nights spent grinding away on a project that sincerely mattered to me, and happily found it matters to others as well.
That’s not the end game, though—not by a long shot.
Tales from the 2.9 — This is Only the Beginning.
With Tales, I was able to explore part of my identity through the lens of my kinfolk’s experiences, examining its many facets through the stories told.
And the project did well—Tales saw:
- 5000 unique page views over the month
- 3.5% engagement on Twitter, where the average is 0.5-1%
- 44.2% engagement on Instagram, where the average is 3-6%, and
- 60.8% engagement on Facebook, where the average is 0.5-1%
And that’s just content I shared. Combine it with the shares from contributors and media outlets, and you start seeing numbers like:
- 1025 Facebook likes
- 245 Facebook shares
- 455 retweets, and
- 640 Twitter likes!
So yeah, this year’s Tales showed there’s a definite appetite for Black Canadian content in this nation, but why limit ourselves to February alone?
See—that right there’s the problem. The point. The crux of why we must keep pressing forward even when Black History Month’s wrapped up. Sure, the celebration’s over, and yes, we had our time to shine. But you know what?
February’s over, but we’re still Black.
Black Fridays — Because One Month Alone Cannot Tell Our Story.
We still need to speak up. We still need to keep our momentum and show the world what we’ve got. When the Honourable Jean Augustine bolstered awareness of Black history by introducing an official Black History Month over 20 years ago, it was only a first step. It’s up to us to keep that mission going and work with one another to clearly outline why we’re important to Canada’ s history and that 28 days alone won’t tell the full tale.
But that means taking action. It means doing more than just crying foul when we celebrate our achievements in the coldest and shortest month of the year. It means putting something out in the world that begins to move us in the right direction, and for me, that’s a new series I’m calling Black Fridays.
Though I wrote an introduction for each post in Tales, there’s much of my stories and viewpoint I never got around to telling. Like the three times someone confused me for staff on our honeymoon cruise. Or the double takes that sometimes happen when I first walk in an interview. There’s plenty yet to explore with sometimes as vast as Black Canadian culture, and I think a longer look at its various aspects will help us dive deeper into plenty of places we might not explore otherwise! We’ll start this Friday with a Tales submission from artist Stephanie Konu that I never got to share, as well as other tales and tidbits that I’d do a disservice not to mention.
Next Stop — #Chronicle150!
But there we go! Tales from the 2.9 217 is at a close, and we’re on to the next step — #Chronicle150: 150 Truly Canadian Stories for its 150th Birthday! If you have a story you think is perfect for the series, I’d love to hear from you—details are all in the link below:
So thanks to all the contributors, the media contacts and others who really believed in the project, and thanks to all of you who checked it out! Those who wrote, shared, and suggested others who’d make great contributors—it’d be impossible without you!
Thanks again, everyone, and we’ll see you for #Chronicle150!
Until the next,