Voices from the 6

Part of Kuumba

February 13 – March 22, 2021

Voices from the 6 collects audio stories that speak to the Afro-Canadian experience in Toronto, exploring the idea of what it means to unapologetically stand in your Blackness while speaking to your inner truths. These short, recorded stories are presented onsite and outdoors at Harbourfront Centre, where visitors can listen while safely distancing.

Presenting Partner

Funded by

Ontario Square North Panel

Photo courtesy of the storyteller

Jill Andrew

Hello Black Girl

Dr. Jill Andrew, PhD a child and youth worker and educator, is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto-St.Paul's. She is the first queer Black MPP to sit in the Ontario Legislature and reportedly in any Canadian legislature.

More about Jill Andrew

Jill Andrew serves as the Women’s Issues, Culture & Heritage Critic for the Ontario NDP Official Opposition and is a founding member of the Ontario NDP Black Caucus. Andrew is also the co-founder of Body Confidence Canada, a community co-owner of GLAD Day Bookshop - the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookshop, and is obsessed with cats.

Photo courtesy of the storyteller

Testament

Roots and routes

Matthew Jones, also known as Testament, has been using his natural speaking and performance abilities to empower audiences for over 15 years.

More about Testament

Testament has performed all across Canada and internationally in South America and Europe. He has appeared on Breakfast Television, CP24, and MTV. He has shared stages with the likes of Talib Kweli, Naughty by Nature, Biz Markie, GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Kardinal Official and more. As an artist and entrepreneur, Testament is the co-founder of the P.E.A.C.E. movement, People Everywhere Actually Co-existing Equally. He loves to use his passion for music and art as way to communicate with the world.

Photo courtesy of the storyteller

Naki Osutei

Brokering Blackness

Naki Osutei is the associate vice president, social impact (Canada) for the Global Corporate Citizenship department at TD Bank.

More about Naki Osutei

Building on her track record of sparking transformation for institutions and individuals, Naki joined TD in 2017 to help build the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s global corporate citizenship platform. A longtime advocate for equality and equity, Naki has worked with organizations like CivicAction and the TORONTO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and CIBC to create leadership, career development and executive talent programs that have directly impacted the lives of more than 2,500 people. Her volunteer life includes roles with University of Guelph, Seneca College, West Neighbourhood House and TEDxToronto. At TD, she co-chairs the Black Employee Network. In 2020, Naki was named to WXN's Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women.

Ontario Square South Panel

Photo courtesy of the storyteller

Exco Levi

Smile Africa

With music at his core, Exco Levi is one of Reggae’s most attractive voices, delivering uplifting messages wrapped in engaging melodic compositions.

More about Exco Levi

Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Exco Levi migrated to Canada and pursued music as a career. Following in the footsteps of his father, an artist and sound system selector, Exco realized his gift for writing significant lyrics and weaving those lyrics with song. An adept piano player, Exco has crafted some of the most thought-provoking singles in Reggae since 2009. He has written almost 200 songs and in 2015 released his debut album Country Man two weeks after receiving his fourth consecutive Juno Award. Exco has earned Five Junos and has been nominated seven times. He will soon release his latest album titled Black Creek Mix in February 2021.

Photo courtesy of the storyteller

Itah Sadu

Come Sit with Me

Itah Sadu is a distinguished storyteller and children’s author, and co-owner of popular Toronto bookstore A Different Booklist

More about Itah Sadu

Itah Sadu has published How the Coconut Got Its Face, Name Calling, Christopher Please Clean Up Your Room, and Christopher Changes His Name. She was recently honoured with the Marilyn Lastman Award at Artsweek 2004 (Toronto Arts Council Foundation Awards).

Photo: Jessica Laforet

SATE and tUkU

Dear Salome, you’re my mom

SATE is a Toronto artist who combines blistering gritty blues with dirty rock. As the daughter of Canadian blues/jazz singer and theatre pioneer Salome Bey, SATE’s unique sound evolves from the culmination of a lifetime spent fully immersed in music.

More about SATE

Combining empowering messages and a soul-shaking live show, SATE has quickly built a reputation as an artist impossible to ignore. Known for delivering repeated electrifying performances, she continues to wow audiences around the world in North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Her debut album RedBlack&Blue received critical acclaim. She is preparing to release her sophomore album, The Fool, in 2021.

Photo: Bea Labikova

tUkU is a singer, vocal arranger, songwriter, composer, producer and budding film composer. Her specialized music practices include haiku songs and text melodicization.

More about tUkU

tUkU is a numerologist, a tarot reader and a wordwitch coming from a 10-year classics study background. tUkU is a deep listener and a wild moon child committed to exploring the meaning of practice and living in kindness.