I’ve always been in awe of the strong, creative, outspoken black artists within Toronto’s queer community. One of my first theatrical experiences when I started living in Toronto was the chance to see the indelible d’bi young, an internationally renowned Jamaican artist and spoken-word performer, perform as Olya in a production of The Three Sisters at Tarragon Theatre, a performance that has always stuck in my mind.
I’ve had the good fortune to forge friendships with, interview or experience the work of a few of the artists involved in this weekend’s Blackphonics, Glad Day Bookshop’s event in solidarity with Black History Month. There is some really incredible talent here, including Red Mango, aka Afi Browne, who will be performing a piece that “delves into Trinidad and Tobago’s history to uncover the fabrics, textures and threads that make up who they are,” and Shadrack Jackman, an emerging triple threat who has graced the stages of Buddies many times over the past few years.
Cabaret performer Ryan G Hinds is another of the several performers who will be taking the stage at Glad Day this Sunday evening. “I will be singing ‘It’s a Man’s World,’ by James Brown. JB is a huge influence on my work, and ‘Man’s World’ has a deep subtext, especially in terms of black history,” Hinds says. He also promises a short spoken-word piece on “shadeism” within the black community.
Sun, Feb 21, 8 pm
Glad Day Bookshop
598A Yonge St