DWAYNE MORGAN - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com
A member of the Writers' Union of Canada, Morgan has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts. Morgan is the winner of 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards (2001, 2003, 2005). In 1998, Morgan introduced regular poetry slams to Toronto and has watched them blossom across the GTA and beyond ever since. In 2005 he was recognized as Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Vancouver. In 2008 Morgan's contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster. He has also been inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I'm a pretty regular guy. I am extremely introverted and at times socially awkward. I'm a workaholic, simply because I gain so much joy from the things that I do. I don't have a routine for writing. I go with the inspiration whenever it comes. I've loved seeing ideas in my head and bringing them to life, and I'm amazed that I've been doing spoken word and producing events for the past two decades.
What's your inspiration or how do you get motivated?
I am self and internally motivated. It's hard to find me at a point where I'm not feeling motivated. I love what I do, and that fuels me. I wake up every morning excited to see what the new day holds. At this point, I'm a father, so now I also consider the legacy that I will leave in all of the projects that I get involved with.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
The simple answer is that I worked harder than everyone else, I wanted it more, and I worked to create the things that I imagined possible. There is nothing that makes me more special than anyone. There are better poets, and speakers, but I committed myself to an idea, and I've worked tirelessly towards fulfilling it. In terms of what to expect, I'd say, more of the same. I have no plans of going anywhere, though my life has shifted in such a way that I am now doing more speaking engagements than performing, as people seek to find out how I've managed to do the things that I've done.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for the opportunities, love, and support that I gave to others. My entire career has been about opening doors for other people, and at the end of the day, I would like that to be the part of the story that people remember. As an artist, it's very easy to focus on yourself, but it was always important to me to create spaces for others. How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure? To be honest, I am still struggling to find that balance. In my world, nothing is consistent, there are months where there's no time to sleep, and others where I can hibernate. With the schedule changing from day to day, it becomes a challenge trying to balance everything. I don't have an answer for this one as it's still a work in progress twenty years later.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Food: Curried goat.
Book: Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Music: Anything by R. Kelly.
Movie: Despicable Me.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
I suppose I've had a typical experience that has included episodes of racism and unjust treatment, however, I've never been one to dwell on that. If anything, it has always inspired me to do and create more. I meet a lot of people who use race as a crutch. I can never change another person, but I can always change how I perceive things. There is a great legacy of success in our community, here in Canada, and I believe that if more people tapped into that and asked themselves what they can add to it, we would be much better off.
What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada?
There is a lot of success in the community and that is definitely what we are doing right. In terms of what we're doing wrong, I think we have to do a better job of safeguarding our culture. The younger generation, growing up on hip hop music, are being raised with an American mentality that is far from our Canadian reality. We also have to work together more in mutually beneficial partnerships. We need to be more outspoken and have a stronger voice in the political arena.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc?
You'll never create icons like those here, because the infrastructure doesn't exist for it, but we can create Michelle Jean, Lincoln Alexander, and Jean Augustine.