As I sit with my peers and listen to their journeys, there are many more stories of inspirational people I want to write about. Black History triggered the beginning of my story writing because when it comes around the mainstream channels begin to put the usual handful of stories into circulation and it isn’t suffice. It also always leaves deeper questions about the people who have sacrificed for another person to receive greater opportunities? Do we rectify the legacies of the other trailblazers that prepared the way or do we just continue to celebrate the ones whose footprints were not erased? What about the underlying stories NOT told of people and events that influenced the great legacies that we see today? When will they be given the honor that is reflective of their dedication and sacrifice?
There are many of us who are championing the legacies of trailblazers and heroes who are NOT represented in Canadian Black Basketball History or the current Hall of Fames. The lack of diversity and representation of Black heroes in the current Canada Basketball Hall of Fame is offensive and hurtful! When I last checked there was 2 Black people inducted in the first 50 years of Canada Basketball’s Hall of Fame. This is a tragedy that goes beyond apology because the only way to right a wrong of this magnitude is not begging to be let in because the Black Lives Matters movement has evoked fears associated with cancel culture. The solution has never been difficult and the decision to include a Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame as part of P.H.A.S.E. 1’s Journey Awards Canadian Basketball Celebration was simply because…we do not need to wait for permission to honor people who have inspired the greatness we see before us by documenting their journey and preserving their history.
The formation of the Journey Awards Hall of Fame Committee has been a tremendous opportunity to bring to light the greatness that has been omitted and my own ignorance that has come from it. I find myself reflecting on my journey and looking at the people who are now doing great things for their communities, families and countries that got less accolades than me but worked even harder or put in the same amount of time but wasn’t presented with the same opportunities I got. Or sadly what about the people who made better choices than me but received worse consequences and had to fight harder to get what I have. This enlightenment along with the horrible truths of the plight on Black people in North America has given me event greater purpose.
Black History has become the motivation for what is now a passion for sharing and celebrating the stories of people and events that became catalyst, conduits or connectors for the success of others. It is with great excitement I am able to work with a Journey Awards Hall of Fame Committee that is committed to honoring the legacies of the omitted and not being influenced to make selections based on a persons entitlement, financial earnings or fame but on impact, work ethic and commitment. Qualities we all posses or acquire in pursuit of our goals.
My passion to write about the journeys of Canadian basketball heroes alive and past, is now fueled by the many hidden legacies I am discovering through deeper research and a pursuit of the true history of Canadian Basketball. Although my background is not as a writer, I reached out for help and I am forever grateful to Kern Carter and Talia Leacock for mentoring me. Please check out both their work when you get a chance. They got me kickstarted and I have never looked back.
It has also been a blessing to have written and co-wrote with my small staff of journalists from the University of West Indies in Jamaica, over 100 blogs about the journeys of exceptional people or significant events. I look forward to the next chapter of preserving legacies through the Journey Awards Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.
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- Wayne Dawkins