Black Canadians




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Multiple Award winning Jazz Artist

Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list )

liberty Silver black canada awards jazz
Liberty Silver is a Canadian Singer based in Toronto, Ontario. She won two 1985 Juno Awards, one for Best R&B /Soul Recording of the Year (“Lost Somewhere Inside your Love”) and the other for Best Reggae/Calypso Recording (“Heaven Must Have Sent You” with Otis Gayle). The American-born Silver was adopted into an Ontario family, where she spent her youth in Kingston then Peterborough. As a teenager, she performed in a raggae band which performed in New York City as an opening act Bob Marley at Madison Square Garden. She performed on the 1985 African charity ensemble single “Tears Are Not Enough”, singing a duet with Mike Reno of Loverboy.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have been honored with many awards from the Junos to Lifetime Achievement Awards. I have participated in many historic events including Nelson Mandela’s visit to Toronto, Desmond Tutu for Arts against Apartheid with Harry Belafonte, I co-wrote and performed 2 Olympic theme songs for Atlanta and Greece, President Barack Obama’s visit and opened and performed for many amazing artists including Maya Angelou, Celine Dion, BB King and the list goes on. After 35 years in the business my tips to success are as follows. Manifest your thoughts and dreams into reality add hard work and stay focused!

Tell us what many people may not know about you?
Most people don’t know I grew up in the deep south up north, Peterborough Ont. I was adopted by a British family and my life outside the family was a living hell. Everyone from friends of the family, other children, teachers and adults alike constantly bullied me and reminded me who I was .I never went unnoticed anywhere. I excelled in everything I did including to rise above the prejudice and hate of ignorance. Today I love them all for that. I wonder if they notice that now .

What's your inspiration, how do you handle disappointments and get motivated?
All my life, from a very early age I was in touch and spoke openly at all times with the creator. I was inspired by everything. The trees, the grass, flowers, people, life! It was music all around me. Even now when times seem trying and dark, I find the light in it because I know the miracle is on the other side. Taking a deep breath is all the motivation I need!

How did you get to where you are now and what more do you hope to achieve?
The day I found out I was adopted was the day the whole world changed for me. I left Peterborough and came to Toronto. While relaxing and taking a swim after arriving from the bus ride, a man heard me singing in the pool took me to an audition and 12 hrs later I opened for Bob Marley at Madison Square Gardens in New York. I was 12 yrs old. I haven’t stopped singing, writing and producing. Everything and anything I can do to connect the world emotionally and spiritually with my music is the goal!

What would you like to be remembered for?
My life’s work is to inspire others to know themselves and their own true divinity.

How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
Balance is really an easy thing to do. You just prioritize. God, family, work and all of the above include harmony and a sense of fun and humor. When we create the illusion that there isn’t enough time we ensue a vicious cycle of time limitation upon ourselves. It’s important to balance your life with regular doses of work, play, spirituality, exercise and relationships, this helps you grow and feel joy.

What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Favorite foods….Pounded Yam, Oxtail, Curried Chicken, Goat , Ackee and saltfish, green bananas, dumpling...... ,did I say pounded yam …..I can’t choose just one!
Favorite movie: The Mummy
Favorite book: The Book of God

What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience as a Black person has been more than interesting. I have experienced many blessings because I have worked hard and through my talents I have been rewarded with respect and love from many communities and government. It has been a long journey for me and I still walk the path and represent my people. However I have never been anybody but me and as a result of my works you know who I am. Anyone who has time for lack of self is not well. I can only be of divine purpose and follow my creator’s lead. I learned this as a child ….Make lemonade with lemons!

Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models, influencers and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, Oprah, BET, etc:-
I have experienced many challenges working with and outside of my community. However my main concern for my community is for it to work together and become economically empowered.

Suggested solutions: My prayer for my community, my people in this space and time is economic wealth and power. Investing in and empowering our people and our communities; more Afrocentric schools where the next generation are introduced to self; and everyone manifests their true God-given potential.
Options are limited to us because we don’t create and invest in our own communities. We need to trust and work together in harmony with the same set goals not only to uplift all generations but to inspire, support and launch our own superstars, presidents and ministers who exist right now in our communities struggling. We have an embarrassing wealth of talent which needs our love and support.

Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
The Honorable Dr. Jean Augustine. I love this woman; she’s smart, funny, super educated and personally takes time to encourage and motivate everyone she comes in contact with. Others worth mentioning include Rev. Evan Reid, Senator Meredith and Senator Cools, Juliet Jackson, The Honorable Michael Tulloch, Charles Roach, Oscar Peterson, Leroy Sibbles, Jennifer Richards, Rosemary Sadlier, Julian Falconer , Sargent Peter Stoly, Journalist Clifton Joseph, Norman Otis Richmond, Stacy McKenzie, my grandchildren, all 8 of them and Uncle Clem.

Should & do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
Yes we do support Black music, events and businesses.  However, if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. We must organize and make mass effort to not only support but be a part of the development and creation on a larger scale. So there are opportunities to educate,  employ and support the dreams of the larger community at hand. When I go to a community or music event I see our community. There is however a larger community that exists which needs to also be included. When this happens we all benefit!

What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
Black history in Canada …You are the history. Right now is not only your opportunity to make it but at the same time, to honor those whose shoulders on which you stand! Our history builds, shapes, effects and contributes to every country we live in !!!!!

My message to anyone feeling uninspired:-
Know thyself, you are divine. It is time to love yourself and let your God given potential shine to the world. You were born with purpose and meaning. You are magnificent and the world awaits your light. You are ever wonderful! Wherever you are, God Is. Manifest your divine thoughts to reality and go with love in your heart. You are a child of the universe. Think Big and stay humble! Fear is an illusion. Wipe away your tears. Now rise and take your place.

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