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Unifor supports Black History Month Music Tour

To celebrate and to spread community awareness of Black History Month, Unifor is proudly sponsoring Black History Month Tours, which showcases young, Black talented Canadian musicians.

The tours launched in 2015 and each February, during Black History Month, it brings these musicians to audiences across Canada.

This year, as the pandemic continues, the tour is forced to pivot to an hour-long online music concert, filmed at the Revolution Recording studios in Toronto, which is being broadcasted throughout the month.

“Unifor is proud to sponsor this virtual concert,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne. “Black History Month is celebrated each February, but racial justice is an important issue in our union, everyday.”

Pianist, organist and composer Rashaan Rori Allwood and vocalist, multi-keyboardist, composer and sound designer Yanick Allwood combine their talents to demonstrate how modern Black artists have always used music and story-telling to nurture their culture and give a voice to Black people.

The brothers welcome a guest performer from British Columbia, award–winning performance artist, Shayna Jones, who has been keeping the important tradition of African storytelling alive through her performances across Canada.

“I seek to shatter stereotypical thinking in Canadians coast-to-coast, while providing young artists the wide exposure and financial resources they may need to continue excelling towards their dreams,” said Joy Bullen, the organizer behind the tours.

The theme this year is hearing the stories within the lyrics.

The musicians tell stories through the songs of some of past and contemporary Black icons, including Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Donny Hathaway, Solage and mix in their own compositions.

“In times when people are losing hope, it’s important to sit back and enjoy some music, and connect with our families and friends,” said Christine Maclin, Unifor’s Director of Human Rights.