Windsor’s Emancipation Parade was always my favourite event of the year. We didn’t see a lot of people who looked like ourselves outside of our community and to be honest when we stepped outside of that bubble, it wasn’t always a lot of fun. Once a year we were celebrated. There were people who didn’t think our parade route was appropriate or that our takeover of the park was warranted but for those few days we could ignore the disapproving looks and see our celebrities and the pillars of our community. The first sign that good times were coming was that my mother would relax as we waited for the parade. She’d light her Pall Mall and dance to the music as the bands marched past where we stood.
I never got the chance to be part of the parade but it was always a dream. There were kids my age that marched but I was never part of their groups. The spirit of freedom and happiness the parade brought is something I’m glad I got to experience. It promoted a self love and pride that I don’t see in some people I know that didn’t have that experience of celebration of self.
Nora – Windsor – 81
Picture is from the University of Windsor. Click here to see original source.