Launched at the beginning of 2022, BlackLantic is a podcast that specializes in amplifying Black voices in the Canadian Maritimes. Host Hillary LeBlanc and Clinton Davis have strong ties to the Atlantic East Coast and noticed that Maritime provinces were lacking a platform that featured the stories of Black Canadians and their art, accomplishments, activism, and lives.
Having lived in places such as Toronto, Hillary and Clinton are aware of the stark difference in diversity throughout Canada. While Black Media is gaining traction in Nova Scotia, Hillary and Clinton wanted to fill that void in New Brunswick by creating a podcast that shared stories and resources relevant to their community.
“We wanted to branch out and put our voices to good use. We knew that the type of work we would be doing would be warranted”, Hillary explains. “There was a need for it, but we felt that we were both voices in the community that could shed light on issues, amplify voices, and speak to people in our community about what they’re going through.”
Before the launch of BlackLantic, Clinton and Hillary worked together as a part of a different organization. They decided to part ways with that organization due to irreconcilable differences. However, they both knew there was still significant work, so they created a podcast that reflected their mission.
“For the past year, we’ve worked together quite seamlessly and relied on each other for many things,” Clinton reflects. “And while not sharing all of the same opinions, definitely sharing the same commitment to work and work ethic and sharing the same passion towards making a change in the East Coast”.
Clinton and Hillary are committed to using their resources to educate and change the narrative surrounding Black Canadians as global citizens. Along with the BlackLantic podcast, they also volunteer for the New Brunswick Department of Education. Their intentions with the Department of Education are to implement ” Black history and Black learning, Black joy into New Brunswick’s curriculum,” Clinton admits.
When asked about the types of guests featured on BlackLantic, Hillary expresses that holding a platform for the extraordinary stories of Black Canadians in the Maritimes is the top priority for their podcast. The main criteria are for their guests to either be Maritimers themselves or have strong ties to the East Coast.
“For example, someone who has done a documentary about the East Coast but maybe living in Ontario now would be sufficient. But, we want to amplify voices from the East coast or have somehow affected the East Coast. We want to show the work that seems neglected in our back yards”.
Representation is crucial for people in marginalized communities to feel acknowledged, affirmed, and accepted by the media they are consuming. Accurately portraying multiculturalism raises awareness of the similarities and differences in a humanizing way to the group of people being portrayed.
Since its release, BlackLantic has featured people who continue to uplift the Black Community by providing invaluable resources. Their guests have demonstrated impressive resumes, inspiring creativity, and profound stories. Features have included Bianca Garcia, co-founder of PEI’s Black Collective Media, and Greg Frankson, Editor and Author of AfriCANthology. In stand-alone episodes, Clinton and Hillary discuss current events looking through numerous lenses, bringing a balanced perspective to global issues such as the Freedom Convoy and the war in Ukraine.
Moving forward, Clinton and Hillary want to extend their resources and connections to BIPOC in the Atlantic provinces. They are also looking to expand BlackLantic into more than a podcast that is recognized throughout all of Canada, especially in rural towns where representation may be lacking.
Go Fund me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-blacklantic-amplify-poc-voices
“We want people to feel like they have an identity they can relate to and their voices are heard”. By utilizing the BlackLantic platform, Hillary and Clinton welcome collaboration to spread their message and work even further. They hope to see more people doing similar activism work alongside them.
Hillary admits, “We do not see this as the ‘Hillary and Clinton Show’. This is much bigger than us. We want to reach out and give back to communities through collaborative work. We don’t want the monopoly”. The BlackLantic podcast exposes the broad spectrum of Black personhood in Canada and globally through their unique lens. While they acknowledge the historical and current struggles of Black people, Hillary and Clinton also celebrate Black excellence and the beauty of Black life.
For more information, visit blacklantic.ca