St. Stephen's Community House and Annick Press celebrated launch of 'It's Not All Black and White' in Toronto. It is the first Canadian book that addresses multiracial youth from their point of view.
'It's Not All Black and White' is a collection of poems, interviews and view points from multiracial youth. Five of the young authors, part of St Stephen's House Youth Arcade, took part in the launch reading excerpts from the book. The pieces ranged from Bianca Craven's tearful poem about being called a racist name to Andrew Brankley's piece about how both sides of his heritage form him into the man that he is. Each young author shared their incredible talent with those in the audience allowing a glimpse into what it feels like to be multiracial.
Liane Regendanz, Executive Director of St. Stephen's Community House where the youth gather discussed the programs that her centre has been part of since 1962. Regendanz said that programs at the centre have "empowered" youth using the arts. Today's launch is the third book that has come from the centre.
"We see first hand the impact of what we are facilitating. The youth come back years later as parents, new staff members and community members. For many years we have been advocating for youth spaces, lobbying our provincial government. Ours and other youth programs save lives. It's about giving youth a safe place to go during the day and evenings and having a structured program," Regendanz said.
Youth Arcade runs on $500,000 a year. Being able to put the books together came from different grants. Regendanz said that the centre, like all Ontario youth programs is constantly chasing the dollars in order to keeps their doors open.
Rick Wilks, Director of Annick Press, said that "youth have a radar for the truth. It's all about taking control of your life."
He said that publishing 'It's Not All Black and White' is being able to bring something with meaning and value to readers. "It allows us to examine issues that need to be discussed."
During the launch the trailer of 'Making Sense of One' was screened. The documentary by MoD productions is a companion piece to the book.
It's Not All Black and White sells for $12.95.