My name “Kanika Shani” means “marvelous black cloth” in Swahili. My father, born and raised in Dominica, picked it from a book of African names; their origins and meanings. Everything about my upbringing was to deliberately immerse me in black culture and history from the very beginning of my life. This includes all of the hard stuff. Over my childhood, I must have watched hundreds of videos about slavery, the civil rights movement, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X. I read about our Canadian and Caribbean black heroes and did presentations at school about Mary Ann Shad, Lincoln Alexander and Sojourner Truth. This work of my life brought a weight that I have carried with me my entire life.