Father’s Day gifts

My father Alex Barris at his Toronto newspaper office desk – writing to dealine.

My back was to the wall. Eleventh hour. Up against it. All those clichés applied. My Grade 8 history essay – on the causes and effects of the War of 1812 – was due Monday morning. It was Sunday night and the essay was done in every way but one. I pleaded with Dad to help me, not to compose the essay, but to type it for me. And he did, but not without an important provision.

“This is the last time,” he said. “From now on, you’re on your own. You’ve got to type it yourself!”

I nodded, not really understanding what had just happened. All I cared about was that my history paper would be delivered in class, on time and looking spotlessly professional. Why? Because my dad was a professional writer and he would never submit anything short of perfect.

Being there

Linda Carter - artist, filmmaker and public speaker -
Linda Carter - artist, filmmaker and public speaker - says, “In this society, we need people who’ve been there before.” She spoke to reporters at a Black History event at Centennial College this week.

Earlier this week, I hosted a Black History Month event in Toronto. The guest speaker was fashion designer, actress and filmmaker Linda Carter. A couple of weeks ago her latest production, a film called “The Making of a Judge,” documented the life of her father, George E. Carter, Canada’s first native born black judge. Following her short talk about the film, several journalists posed questions. They ranged from her thoughts about her career to the importance of Black History Month to her feelings about Afri-centric schools. Then she got this one:

“What are your thoughts on the causes of such things as the Jordan Manners shooting in a Toronto school?” the young journalist asked.