A Book & A Dream: Gabriella Kinté & The First Library For Authors Of Color In MTL
Great Minds Think Great Thoughts!
A Place Where Authors Of Color Can Showcase Their Work Like Never Before!
Gabriella Kinté (an alias that took a life of its own during the process) and her team have managed to put this initiative together but it wasn’t an easy ride.
Like everything else in life, everything started with a simple question : ”is there a way people of colour can be more represented for their art & and talent in Quebec?”.
The answer was as simple but in execution, little did she knew, it would alter her life forever.
she calmly said to the universe:
”Do It Yourself”
From that point on, a timeline of events occurred in the course of 2016-2017. She started by founding ”Tout Le Hood En Parle” that slowly but surely became a voice for the voiceless.
Tout Le Hood En Parle’s mission was to collect interviews from people of colour about their experience with racism. The testimonies were well received and the platform grew a serious fan base with thousands and thousands of monthly views.
As #THLP was gaining notoriety, Miss Kinté was working overnight to make this dream of hers come to life. Networking event there, radio interview here and fighting racism with the means she had; a camera and a good heart.
It was challenging, exhausting and sometimes painful but with the support of a good team and more from the community itself; everything is possible. Then came another question that would guide the rest of the journey:
”How To Make People Reconnect With Books?”
I was already convinced that she was up to something but when she told me that the actual project would be a library promoting authors of color; I was sold.
Her and her team filled a void in terms of bringing awareness to the problem and now it was time to bring an actual solution. The name would be Librairie Racines and the rest would be history.
Now Kinté had to convince the artists to trust her. Convince her team to trust her and most of all convince herself that she could to this.
Momentum is everything in life. Tout Le Hood En Parle became the window that Librairie Racines needed to be stuck in people’s mind, especially authors of color.
Their team brought together community activations where they could plant the seed of this library to be.
A place where opinions wouldn’t be censored and color would be put on a pedestal. A place where authors of color could be valuable for their work.
Similar as #THLP, Racines positioned itself as a platform very inclusive. LGBT, Black, Haitian, African, Latino and everybody at large were all welcome. What really mattered was your message and how they could help you spread it.
Now that people knew about the goal a little more, it was time to show and prove. Choosing Montreal-North as a permanent location was a no-brainer for the young activist.
She wanted it to be exactly where people needed it the most. She took a leap of faith, rolled up her sleeves and went back to work.
Now with a solid support from the artistic community, the media and as the world was watching it happened, the foundations of this unique library were being constructed. 4689 Henri-Bourassa Boulevard will be the birth place of something great; it had to be.
She got various artists from the city covering the walls with their art. Even more authors providing their earliest work to help the project come to life.
Last Saturday (August 5th), we got to this place that was once just an idea and we couldn’t help but admire. Good vibes and conversations were in the almost solemn atmosphere . Live performances and book readings were here to keep this moment in our minds forever.
We had the pleasure to capture this moment
Mission accomplished but yet this is probably just the start for young Kinté. One thing is for sure, whenever you ask yourself the right questions, you always end up with the right answers!