‘Black History is not only one month’: a spoken word piece celebrating Montreal’s Black excellence

Black history is not only one month,” said Montreal YouTube blogger and documentary filmmaker Tricia Henry, a message prevalent in her new short ‘Brazen’ for Black History Month. Diona Macalinga reports.

“Blessed to be Black, destined to win, 12 months of celebrated melanin,” echoed the people featured in Montreal blogger and documentary filmmaker Tricia Alicia Henry’s new short ‘Brazen’.

Released on YouTube for Black History Month, the video is a spoken word piece about celebrating Black excellence throughout the year and not only on February.

“Black History is not only one month, it’s actually a legacy,” said Henry. “365 days times infinity.”

But what is Black excellence?

According to Henry, one way of defining Black excellence is breaking the barriers and stigmas found within the Black community, using one’s creativity and hard work to strive to the top.

“There’s local businesses that are thriving every single day that are owned by Black owners. There are new generations coming up. They are Black artists,” she said, adding that their creativity does not stop outside of Black History Month.

From DJs, rappers, local business owners, to employees working a nine-to-five job, Henry invited members of Montreal’s Black community to join a project she’s worked on since December of 2022.


“I wanted to do this project because I felt like there was so much Black excellence around the city of Montreal. And it would have been good to hear from different Black voices around the city,” said Henry.

“On set, it was all love,” the blogger said.

Born and raised in LaSalle – south of Montreal, Henry grew up hearing stories of her mother’s experience with racism at work.


two women black and white selfie

Selfie of Montreal-based documentary filmmaker Tricia Henry (left) and her mother (right). (Photo Credit: Tricia Alicia Henry)

“She would come home and talk about it. And she actually helped me on my journey of being a Black woman,” she said.

From her mother’s adversity came an important life lesson.

“My mom, she really instilled my sister and I to be strong, but also to be vulnerable at the same time. Don’t be afraid to say things,” she said. “Speak up.”

Her 2017 documentary ‘One Shalt Not’ spoke about the stigma of mental illness within the Black community. But this time, she uses her voice to spread positivity with her latest production ‘Brazen’.

“We’re not holding back. We’re not scared anymore. We’re coming in the most respectful but boldest fashion,” the blogger said. “You won’t be able to miss us at all in any way. There’s nothing we’re being held back from. We are stronger than ever. That is what brazen means.”

The spoken word piece was written ‘from the soul’. After filming was done, she admitted to crying and feeling emotional with other members of the project.

“We’re a beacon of love and we’re a beacon of community. When we work together, we do great things.”

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