Ajax unveil artwork in recognition of Decade for People of African Descent – Durham

Ajax’s Black Racism Task Force and City Council unveiled artwork to honor the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Robert Small is the local black artist behind the piece, titled decades to come.

His work is now in the town hall of Ajax and will remain there for the next few months.

“I wanted the objects to represent the potential of Africans, while the real people I depicted in them represent the beauty and aspirations of Africans in the world. The image of the bird coming to grab the key symbolizes the key to our liberation as well as our upliftment,” Small explained.

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The International Decade for People of African Descent is a United Nations declaration that recognizes the achievements of those in the African Diaspora and the protection of their human rights.

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Small says showcasing her black art at city hall is important.

“Specifically Ajax in Durham Region has the highest percentage of black people who have a post-secondary education so therefore it’s really crucial to have that here because the town of Ajax basically symbolizes the aspirations of the African people.”

The chairman of Ajax’s anti-black racism task force says recognition of the International Decade for People of African Descent is one of 10 recommendations presented to the board when the task force was established in September 2020.

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“We would like to work collaboratively to address systemic racism in the city of Ajax. this would apply to the black community and other racialized groups, so that we can have a vibrant and thriving community,” said Mariska Thomas, board chair.

Other recommendations include introducing paid internship programs for black youth to support their career development and collecting data on anti-black racism in the city.

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