BY: KEZIA ROYER-BURKETT
As Valentine’s Day approaches I begin this week’s column with an e-mail from a reader.
I found your e-mail online as I was searching for events or meetups for West Indian and Caribbean people in Toronto. I came across Toronto Caribbean, and I read all the articles in your section. I can see you are enlightened when it comes to women and love. For the longest, while I was open to meeting and dating anyone from any ethnicity. I was once looking for love. I have since stopped looking, but seeing that times are changing for women and Black people (see media’s current events), I’ve consciously decided that culture matters. Our history matters. I want to meet someone from South America or the Caribbean like myself. The only problem is, I’m more Canadian than Guyanese. I only ever use my accent when I’m talking to another Guyanese female and just if we are close. I also never go out to events that aren’t Canadian or children related as I am a single parent most of the time. Another reason is that my son never sees anything from his father’s culture. We pretty much just have Guyanese food & home decor. I rarely even listen to our music. If I could explain how & why this occurred, it would take several e-mails. Where can I see or find events for people from our warm countries? Help, please!!!
From: Return to Roots
Dear Return to Roots,
Your e-mail is very timely as I have recently connected with a dating page called Toronto Black Singles United. The founder of the Facebook page Shana is a single mom like myself and you and created this platform to help single people connect. Like you I am a single mom of a son who values my roots and culture and would like to raise him with a male presence that’s on the same way length as me. As I get older, I have found dating is a lot harder and adding children to the mix can complicate any situation. I proclaimed on Alyssa’s show The Real Talk that in 2018 I would find a significant other and no longer be single, but I wasn’t doing anything different to ensure my proclamation came to fruition. So, I put myself out there and decided to connect with single dating networks. Filling the void that mainstream dating corporations in Canada have created Shana saw the need to focus on creating a space for Black singles to connect in the greater Toronto area. Shana and her team have created a platform for open discussion about dating and relationships to break down misconceptions, and everyday struggles our community is explicitly faced with. Shana plans singles events as well as spontaneous meetups for the group, which allows group members to meet, mingle and hopefully establish meaningful connections. With the new fad of online dating and apps like Tinder accumulating over 50 million downloads it is apparent dating has changed significantly, and if you don’t catch up, you may miss your opportunity at a loving relationship. Even though Toronto Black Singles United is a relatively new movement as it was founded in June of 2017, it has gained over a thousand members to its page. Shana helps dispel the weariness and suspicious assumptions that come with online dating by ensuring all members are screened to ensure that they are in fact single and live in Canada. Because unfortunately to the married men Toronto Black Singles United is NOT another form of Ashley Madison. TBSU is intended for mature singles, and it’s members range in age from 27-60 years old. Shana, the founder of the group, says “I feel this group has made a huge impact in our community because members constantly say there is nothing like this for Black singles. Where various age groups can meet and discuss the struggles of dating in this era of technology where online dating is the new and popular method of dating.” Shana has planned a singles Valentine’s event on Saturday, February 10th, 2018. Doors open at 9 pm at Wallace Gastropub located at 1954 Yonge Street (a block from Davisville Subway). $20 entry fee with $5.00 off if you bring in this column.
Check out their website at TorontoUrbanHub.com/blacksinglesunited
In the upcoming column Shana founder of Toronto Black Singles United shares some tips to assist singles in navigating the online world of dating. As Always Love and Light.