Caribana is the intellectual property of the CCC/CAG

Dear Editor:

African Canadians are sending a message across this land that their culture should not be taken for granted. The need for sending this message is urgent. Their intellectual property of Caribana, the brainchild of the CCC/CAG, in inconceivable form, is being gutted. The message of African Canadians is clear: Caribana is theirs with all its embodiments. It is an integral part of their gift to Canada and it should not be broken up. The parade is the Caribana parade, so let it be!

Stop the destruction of the intellectual property of African Canadian culture. Stop the gutting! The edition of Share Newspaper May 25, 2011, clearly exposed a birds’ eye view of the “jewel” called Caribana. For the powers that be, a way was found to create a method to cause confusion amongst a people, a culture. It is to deflect their giving in a conniving way without a word of thanks.

Is it too late to protect the acknowledged, deep-rooted, international intellectual property of Caribana, CCC/CAG? I think not, so which friend of African Canadians is ready to speak?

Ouch…..its not an award ceremony or function. I forgot!

However, it is being asked: for 43 years of giving in a parade to this society, what has been developed in the making? Is there an African Canadian Centre, a school for the arts, for the art form? Many people accept it as a parade, yet it is not just a parade. It is a business that needs a strong board with a CEO and staff. Something has gone wrong; however, it can be righted.

The law of this land protects intellectual property and, clearly, Caribana, founded by the CCC/CAG, is the intellectual property of a people, a culture whose epic function is displayed on the streets of Toronto on the last Saturday of July or first Saturday in August every year. The birth, conception of these festivities are as Caribbean or African as hockey is to Canada. This should not be seen in any other light. This is important as Black History Month is to people of African ancestry.

Why is it being taken lightly by some people in this society? Here, the jewel of African Canadians is being taken, and African Canadians are planning to jump in a parade for it? These same people are dividing amongst themselves and receiving a pittance in return. Is this for real?

Remember, handed down from generation to generation, culture is the total of the art, music, customs or traditional ways of doing things. African Canadians cannot afford to divide amongst themselves.

Where are the so-called friends of African Canadians who are recognized with great esteem and awarded? What are African Canadian politicians saying? No, this is not something to generate laughter or ‘wining’, it is about giving the public display of a culture without any financial reward.

Where do African Canadians go from here? There are many organizations, none as public like Caribana. Try and take any other culture’s fundamental vested interest and you would see the difference; their people coming together in a groundswell of opposition.

African Canadians should send the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, of Mahatma Ghandi, of Nelson Mandela: their culture is pivotal to their growth, their progress in this land, it should not be tarnished.

It was the same message that was sent by the late Dudley Laws. The same message sent by their forefathers. It is real today and years to come for the powers that be to understand that justice should be seen, clear and concise with the full force of the law.



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