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Photo courtesy of Awesome Ottawa.

Awesome Ottawa: June award to support Afro-soul showcase fighting anti-Black racism

By Awesome Ottawa on June 28, 2021

June’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Abdul Muse to support a virtual showcase using Afro-soul music to share the rich history of the African diaspora and fight anti-Black racism.

The show, which will feature performances by five Ottawa-based artists and one international artist, will be streamed by a local media partner in early 2022, as well as on social media.

“It will be called The Ara Ilu Showcase,” explains Abdul, “because ‘ara ilu’ is a Yoruba word that translates to ‘the town’s people.’ In this context, the town refers to the African diaspora and the people are its members.”

“In our current social climate,” Abdul continues, “there continue to be reports that confirm the pervasive reality of anti-Black racism in Canada. Data suggests it’s worse than many Canadians think. Even though Black communities in Canada have doubled in size over the past 25 years, there are still key areas where racism is acutely felt. Miseducation of those outside of these communities is one of the key drivers for continued racism, and I want this show to help eliminate the knowledge gap that propels anti-Black racism.”

Abdul is an Afro-soul artist who goes by the name KAR33M. You can check out his powerful music on YouTube.

Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, 10 or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month, and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of the pooled funds—usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, over $5 million has already been awarded—$140,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa. For more information, visit