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Kayla Grey is using her platform to fight racism
October 5, 2020
WN: The article highlighted below is immensely hopeful! With all colours represented in our extended family, my greatest yearning is that the world over be inflicted with an enduring colour-blindness.
Sadly it needs to start in that same extended family, at times rife with a range of fundamentalisms, including racism: indeed, anti-all colours-but-white; anti-church and Christianity; anti-Muslim and other religions; anti-science (of anthropogenic climate disruption–ACD), and other settled sciences; etc. And for some the capstone: pro-Trump on everything! My experience?: pontification (“But surely, Wayne”, and at times voluminous), castigation (angry accusatory outbursts), and obfuscation rather than polite, calm, reasoned dialogue. Sigh . . . (You may wonder so I’ll reply: none of the above reads my Blog 🙂 . . .)
So I pray (doubtless with Ms Grey–see excerpts below) : Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Award-winning broadcaster, radio personality and racial justice advocate Kayla Grey was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she made her on-air debut as an anchor of SportsCentre on The Sports Network (TSN), Canada’s largest sports channel. When she signed off that night, Grey made history as the first Black woman in Canada to host a flagship sports highlight show. The 27-year-old says that being “the first” felt cool for about 20 seconds — until she started focusing on making sure she wasn’t going to be “the only.”
Claire Sibonney spoke with Grey about what it’s like being a woman of colour in the media and being a voice for Canada’s Black community in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement.
KG: I moved out of my house at 15, and I skipped a ton of school. But eventually I graduated high school. I went to an adult learning centre, and I upgraded my marks.
I don’t normally share this about myself because protecting my childhood story is a way to stay safe in an all-white space. You have to present a certain way when you’re surrounded by people who don’t look like you, just to help them feel comfortable with your being in that space. Now that I’m more comfortable in my skin, I understand the importance of my story as a way to change things for the better. I’ve become a lot more vocal and open about it.
Out of love, my mom always told me, “Kayla, you’re a Black woman — you always have to work twice as hard.” But now when I look at my son, I want to tell him, “Levi, you’re a Black man, and you’re just enough.” I want to tell my son that he — his hair, his skin, the way he talks, the way he presents, what he likes, what he doesn’t like — is enough. Because as much as our parents tell us that you have to be twice as good to prepare us for the world that they lived in, there are mental effects. I definitely never felt I was good enough as is. It was one of the reasons why I got into the state that I did at high school. There was a lot of friction between my mom and me, and it was probably best that I had left the house at that time, just so I could figure it out and we could have space.
KG: I lived in Terrace, B.C., first, and then I lived in Prince Rupert. Two cities connected by the Highway of Tears. For me, that was such an eye-opening experience. I didn’t have that much knowledge about the Indigenous community and Indigenous people and the social justice issues in that community. It allowed me to learn. I became even more passionate about making sure that we’re creating inclusive spaces for Black and Indigenous voices and people of colour.
CS: You’ve mentioned that you use meditation and prayer to hear your inner voice more clearly. How so?
KG: I’m a big believer in God, and meditation is something I started doing recently to feel more grounded. Especially in these times, everything’s been so heavy. I’ve used the stillness of the pandemic to deeply reconnect with faith, even if it’s just waking up every single morning and giving thanks for my family, my health. For me, it’s been a time of awakening. I feel I’m further in my walk as well, with what I’ve been doing and the conversations that I’m having.
In the past, my prayers would be like, “Lord, can you please bless me with this and that?” Right now, I’m finding all I can do is give thanks. Meditation has also really helped me because it’s incredibly traumatizing to see people who look like you killed over and over and over on television.
When I’m talking about my experiences in the industry, I’m revisiting my own trauma.
Please click on: Kayla Grey, TSN Anchor