Speaking up as a person of African descent

By Gordon Lambie
Speaking up as a person of African descent
(Photo : Gordon Lambie)

Pastor Samuel Vauvert Dansokho, born in Senegal and ordained a minister of the Eglise Protestante du Sénégal in 1982, has been serving Plymouth-Trinity United Church in Sherbrooke since 2014. In speaking with The Record last week about activities taking place over the month of February, the minister said that since June of this past year he has been more intentionally presenting himself and speaking up as a person of African descent.
“It is one layer of my identity, but a layer that I claim more,” he said, adding that, “people around me have to expect to hear more about my experience as an African here and be more challenged when I see things that need to be denounced.”
Beyond challenging and denouncing, however, Dansokho explained that he sees this new active identification as a chance to engage in conversation and grow together with the communities he is a part of. Reflecting on his experiences as a Senegalese man living in Quebec, he said that a consistent issue is ignorance, not just in the sense of people not knowing or understanding that Africa is a massive continent made up of many countries, but also in a more active way where people might be aware of the existence of issues of racism or discrimination but ignore them in the name of convenience.
Dansokho’s further reflections in English can be found on the United Church of Canada’s website at: https://united-church.ca/worship-special-days/black-history-month-1, and the activities shared in French over the course of the last month can be found at https://egliseunie.ca/category/mois-histoire-personnes-ascendance-africaine/

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