A Beautiful Black Wedding

My friends call me E.T. but my real name is Eric Theodore Jr. A six-foot-two, lean and ruggedly handsome young Black man living in the city of Ottawa, Ontario. I was born in the city of Cap-Haitien, Republic of Haiti, but raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Later, I moved to Canada. Recently, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Criminology from Carleton University. Also known as Canada's Capital University. Graduation Day was one of the happiest days of my life. However, it pales compared to this one. You see, today is my wedding day.

In a few hours, I will marry a truly remarkable young woman. Veronique Christiana Orville. The gal everyone at Carleton University calls "V.C. Orville". A five-foot-eleven, curvy and chocolate-skinned sister who looks like an African Goddess come to life. We met in an Ethics Class at Carleton University. Let's just say she made one hell of an impression. She's a year older than me but that's never been an issue with us. I've always had a thing for tall, curvy Black women. I like them even more if they've got cute faces and big, heart-shaped bottoms. That's just what I like, folks. The Black woman is my Standard of Beauty. Accept no substitute. Peace! V.C. was sexy as hell and extremely smart. How could I resist her?

Here I am, standing before Pastor Roberto Lemieux inside Rayon De Lumiere, the only Haitian Adventist Church in the city of Ottawa. The church is packed with guests. The Pastor is a stocky Black man in his early fifties. Standing nearby are my groomsmen. Antoine Charles, a short, slim, Caramel-skinned brother from Algonquin College. He winks at me and I shake my head. Next to Antoine stands my actual brother George Theodore, a six-foot-tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, Hershey-coloured Black man in his late twenties. He's a member of the Community Action Team of the Massachusetts State Police. He came all the way to Canada to support me on my wedding day. I can't thank him enough for that, especially given what transpired between us before and after I left Boston.

One of the reasons why I want to become a lawyer is due to my strong dislike of abusive and bigoted men and women who work in law enforcement. My brother George thinks his co-workers on the State Police Force are pure radiant saints. And we've clashed over our differing viewpoints. I think most cops are racist. And I don't apologize for it. My brother disagrees. To the point that it caused a rift between us. Last year, George married a fellow police officer, a tall and exquisitely beautiful Jamaican-American sister named Amelia Johnson. And I couldn't make it to their wedding. To be honest, I didn't really try to. I don't think I would have gone even if I didn't have exams that week. That's all in the past, though. My brother and I got past all that. Last but not least among my groomsmen is my good friend Taylor Pierre, also known as T.P. He's a tall, chubby and coconut-coloured Haitian guy from the University of Montreal. All my peeps showing me love on my wedding day. I feel truly blessed.

Nearly my entire family is gathered in the church. My parents live in Boston, Massachusetts, and hate cold-ass Canada but they came anyway. My father Eric Theodore is a Municipal Court Judge in Boston. He moved to America during the 1970s while in his teens, and attended Boston College High School and later, Suffolk University. He met my mother Odessa Jean while attending Boston College Law School. She's a Professor of Criminal Justice at Pine Manor College now. They can't stand today's truly Canadian weather but wear brave smiles. I don't fault them for not liking Canada. I hate the place, though for entirely different reasons. People of color make up close to forty percent of the United States three hundred and ten million Americans. In Canada, we're basically scarce. And I hate it. I'm used to living in a place with more diversity. There are many people of Haitian descent in Boston. We've made it our home away from home. In other Massachusetts cities like Randolph, Brockton and Lynn, Haitians are known for our sheer numbers, energetic drive for higher education and economic ascendance, and our joie de vivre. We're a community of survivors, political strife and natural disasters be damned. And we love our own. That's why my folks left warm and sunny Boston to come to cold and musky Ottawa on this Saturday morning in May for my wedding.

Earlier, I had tears in my eyes as my father tied my tie. I hadn't seen my Pops in ages, or the city we both loved so much. Boston is a place I've called home ever since I was a small child. I lived there with my folks for most of my life and hated leaving it. My parents sent me to Canada for higher education because the U.S. was a mess at the time. With millions of Irishmen, Italians, African-Americans and Hispanics finding themselves unemployed during the Recession, America's big was even less hospitable for a young Black man than it would be in normal times. You know what popular targets we are for bigoted cops and gangs of roughnecks even in the best of times. Add to that the socio-political mess of thinly disguised and racially divisive Hate Movements like the Tea Party Movement, and you can understand why it might seem like a good time for a young Black man to spend some time outside the U.S. of A. PS : I don't care what the Tea Party people say. They're just a bunch of angry White folks who hate the fact that a Black man, U.S. President Barack Obama, finally runs the country. They're actually the eager puppets of a cabal of super wealthy people who fund their operations.

I did good during my time in Canada. I got my degree and I met a remarkable, wonderful young woman. I befriended a crop of hard-working, God-fearing and highly educated young Haitian men who truly did their communities and families proud. Adjusting to life in Canada hasn't been easy for me. It's a really strange place. In Boston, the whole city is one big village, essentially. At Boston College High School, I had lots of friends who were African-American, Irish, Italian, Chinese and Hispanic. It's the most diverse private school around. The Canadians claim to want diversity in their schools and cities but I find them to be far more bigoted and narrow-minded than the average American. There's a certain insincerity and covert bigotry behind their studied politeness. Of course, you have to really want to see it. Whatever. I didn't come to Canada to make pals with the locals. I came to make some money and get a decent education.

I chose Carleton University because it's more diverse than most of the major Canadian schools. Lots of immigrant families who moved to Canada from places like South Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Brazil and China send their sons and daughters to Carleton. I found it more relaxed and less pretentious than the University of Ottawa, whose students tend to be bigoted and elitist, especially when dealing with newcomers. Oh, and this elitist attitude isn't limited to the White Canadians. I've met young Black women of Haitian descent who were born in Canada whose negative attitude toward newcomers is quite similar to that of their White friends. Being stuck in Ottawa isn't funny, it's boring. The whole city basically sucks. There are no cool nightclubs. No fun hangouts. No interesting people. And the city really wasn't diverse. People of African, Hispanic, Asian and Arab descent make up a little more than twenty percent of the population.

I felt like I was trapped in Ottawa until I met V.C. Sometimes, I think she saved my life. It was early in the game and Ottawa was the most depressing place on earth, at least in my eyes. The Canadians are far less friendly than they claim to be. And far more bigoted too. I've seen Asians, Indians and Arabs make racist jokes about Blacks and others with their White friends. I've also heard some of my fellow Haitians make negative remarks about Somalians. That really surprised me. What the hell? We Haitians are Black and the Somalians are Black! Why discriminate against our own? Regardless of where you come from, if you're a Black person living in North America or Europe, you're targeted by racists. So why should the International Black Community divide itself into factions rather than unite? How cool would that be, if we were all united? The bigots have truly gone diverse in Ottawa! The only thing I saw in that city was a dead end, until V.C. showed me a new world.

Veronique Christiana Orville. The tall, gorgeous and absolutely statuesque daughter of Ottawa's first Haitian-born police sergeant, Vincent Orville. A civil engineering student at Carleton University. I was in awe of her. There are so many gorgeous young Black women in Ottawa. They come from the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America and many other places. Yet it seems Black men in Ottawa chase White women like their life depends on it. Personally, I don't know why they do it. I love Black women. And I've always loved them. I don't think a White woman can relate to my struggle as an ambitious young Black man in the uptight and bigoted world of North America. We live in different worlds. I doubt we would really click. Anyhow, where was I? Oh, yes. I was telling you about V.C. and me.

V.C. was born in Vancouver, one of Canada's most diverse cities. People of color are the majority in Vancouver right now, how cool is that? According to her, there were a few people of African descent in her native town and she grew up in a loving, supportive enclave made up of Jamaicans, Haitians, Afro-Brazilians and Somalians. A lot of Black Canadians are White-washed. They don't like being Black. They don't think much of Black folks from other places. Many of them probably secretly wish they were White. That's probably why so many of them don't date each other. It's almost as if some of these so-called Black Canadians want to purge their Blackness away. I don't have that problem. I'm a proud son of Haiti, the first independent Black republic in the New World. The first place where people of color actually got some revenge for the evils of slavery and European imperialism. I don't think being Black is a curse. I am proud of my Blackness. I love the Black women and Black men of the world. We're one family. I don't envy White people. Not now. Not ever. I've never wanted to be anything other than what I am. I will however fight for equality and opportunity with my dying breath. That's who I was raised to be.

I never thought I would meet a like-minded Black person in all of Canada. It seems Black Canadians spend most of their time pretending that racism doesn't exist. They're very quick to defend Canada as a bastion of politeness, open-mindedness and multiculturalism whenever a newcomer like myself points out the blatant bigotry of some random White person we encounter in a public place. I can't stand these Oreos. I thought Black Canadians had zero unity. I'm sick and tired of all these Black Canadian men who claim that Black women in general are too difficult to handle and instead chase White women. Someone should tell these clowns not to come crying to the Black community when they're accused of harassment, dating violence or sexual assault by their blonde friends. Bunch of traitors.

V.C. shared many of my viewpoints. Her family had been in Canada for generations. Her Haitian-born maternal grandmother Charlotte Des-Pres fought against segregation in order to teach at a sparsely integrated school in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the late 1950s. Her parents wanted her to know where she came from, so she was spent to vacation in Haiti every summer since she was quite young. That's an experience I shared. My family and I vacationed in Haiti practically every summer. Good times. V.C. lived in an off-campus apartment near Baseline and her place was simply amazing. She collected books on pre-colonial African history and Haitian history. Her bedroom walls were filled with pictures of Black intellectuals, political, media celebrities, athletes, entertainers and academics. This young woman was a student of Black Life. And I loved that about her.

V.C. showed me a side of Ottawa I never knew existed. Apparently, not all Black men and Black women in this city were self-loathing and assimilation-craving sell-outs. Quite a few of them were proud of their Black heritage and identity. V.C. is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the well-known international sorority for Black women. V.C. also has some truly remarkable friends. Intelligent, beautiful and simply amazing young Black women from all over. Her best friend Rashida O'Neill Mohammed is half Irish and half Somalian. A tall, slim, Caramel-skinned and long-haired young Black woman. She's alright but I don't like this much milk in my coffee. Another close friend of hers is Juanita Champagne, a short and curvy, truly vivacious Haitian sister. I grew to like her entourage. There are so many spirited young Black women in this city. It's really too bad the Black men here don't appreciate what they have.

Let's break with politics for a minute and focus on the essentials. My love for my woman. I truly appreciate my beloved V.C. I really do. A tall, beautiful and educated young Black woman who still loves Black men is indeed a rare thing in North America. A rare treasure to be preserved for posterity. Veronique Christiana Orville might have been born in Canada, that doesn't change the fact that she's a true B.A.P. in my eyes. A Black American Princess. And I'm the type of brother who treats a Black Princess the way she deserves to be treated. I was fascinated by V.C.'s keen intellect and awesomely sexy body. She showed me around Ottawa, took me places like the Museum of Civilizations, and a few other interesting spots.

I took her dancing in Baha House, this brand-new, Jamaican-owned Reggae night club which opened near downtown Ottawa. Truly a prime location. The club was mainly frequented by Hip Hop fans and the clientele was truly multi-ethnic. We felt comfortable there. Haitians and Jamaicans have always been good neighbours. V.C. was so graceful and sensual on the dance floor. With her eyes locked in mine, we created our own rhythm and owned the dance floor. The feel of her big, round butt against my groin was absolutely fantastic. I love wrapping my arms around her as we dance. She's awesome!

In the lovely V.C. I found the woman of my dreams. Someone I could share my beliefs with, my hopes and dreams. Someone I could be myself around. I know this world is changing. I truly wish that more people, especially Black folks in the Americas, had a more global perspective. I live in a world that's truly unique. A world where a Black man can truly be anything he wants to be. The Governor of Massachusetts. The Governor of New York. The Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. The Mayor of Detroit, Michigan. The President of the United States of America. The Chief of Police in Oakland, California. The Attorney General of the United States of America. Guess what all these important people have in common? They're all Black men!

I really wish I could inspire young Black Canadian men to take up the challenge. They have so much potential but lack motivation. They live in a world where higher education is quite accessible. If Black Canadian men had the drive, ambition, resilience and toughness of Black American men, they'd run Canada. I know that in Canada, discrimination is systemic rather than purely racial. There are hurdles put in place by the Canadian Government to prevent men and women from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, China and the Caribbean from progressing too fast in Canadian society. That's why they take such a long time to acknowledge the credentials of foreigners. Yeah, the Canadian Government is bigoted. They're not fooling anyone. However, these obstacles can be overcome. Why are people of color living in Canada so attached to it anyway? If the Hockey-loving and absolutely polite bigots don't want you around, come to America!

Canada has so many people of color with University degrees. Since Canada doesn't seem to appreciate them, they should move to America. Say what you will about America, it has always welcomed the talented. American companies will go to India, China and Japan to grab some talented guy or lady to do the job that an American-born bozo can't or won't do well. I always shudder when I hear immigrants say they like Canada more than America. Give me a break. America has had three Black women, an Asian lady and one Arab woman win National Beauty Contests. America is an evolving, unique country with ever-changing national demographics. Canada is basically a smaller copy of not-so open-minded Europe. End of story.

Oh, man. Forgive, I tend to digress. Sorry, but all of these thoughts came flooding into my consciousness as I stood before the Pastor, waiting for my bride-to-be. When I saw her walk down that aisle in her shiny white dress, surrounded by her lovely bridesmaids, she took my breath away. In that moment, I forgot about everything that didn't absolutely matter. Constant culture shock. My frustrations with the fake people of Ottawa after leaving behind my beloved Boston. My struggles in Canada, and my triumphs. All of it was worth it. For I got to meet her and be with her. Standing beside me, V.C. smiled at me. She looked absolutely amazing. I thanked my lucky stars for having her in my life. And thus, we were married before our respective families and friends.