Black History Matters: Teo Ferguson on “Listen”

Written by Teo Ferguson

Listen, Learn, and Live: The Most Important L’s to Take in Life


Black History Month is a month in which society finally takes time to notice Black folks in their entirety.

Now, it is the shortest month of the year, but it is one we get to call our own and celebrate unapologetically, and even after the fact, as we are Black 365 days a year.

This year, the focus has been on "Listen, Learn, Share, Act," and with the Library's programs, folks who are Black and those who are not, got to really listen to and learn from perspectives that have been here for hundreds of years but due to racism and it’s social effects, have gone unheard.

Learning from our community

I was lucky enough to get to participate in a virtual Library event for teens (in February, hosted by Brawta Jamaican Jerk Joint) that focused on the making of Jamaican patties—which is about my Jamaican culture—and it was great to see people able to focus and learn when it comes to food. It is my hope that in listening to someone teach participants how to make patties, those same participants can translate that over into their everyday lifestyle; the ability to listen and learn from the Black community.

We must want to do better and be better, to get better; and that means at times listening, learning, feeling guilt and shame, and then taking action to fix problem behaviours we may have. And to truly learn we must be open, we must create spaces safe to do that, and materials that provoke deep consideration of other folks within our community.

Stories of our Black Experiences: The Youth Project

Since this Black History Month's programs were aimed at listening and learning, I want to provide you with another resource/online zine by The Youth Project, to listen and learn from, that isn’t food-related but Black and queer-related, because we are here and will continue to be, so why not learn from all walks of life? Check it out., opens a new window

Keep learning

Black lives are more than televised gang violence, comedy relief, sidekicks, or side chicks.

We live, breathe, love, and lead; but at the end of the day, we are just blood skin, bone, and body.

We deserve the same love and respect for our passions and our strength and not just when the world wants to notice.

Listen. Live. Learn & Love.

About Teo Ferguson

Teo (Mateo) Ferguson is a creator, model, and advocate for Black and queer communities. Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Teo dedicates his time to supporting LGBTQ+ youth through his support of The Youth Project; telling compelling stories through images; and bringing attention to issues of inequity and injustice. Follow him on Instagram, opens a new window for vibrant, thoughtful, and hilarious content.

About African Heritage Month at Halifax Public Libraries

More than a month.

Every year in February and the months that follow, Halifax Public Libraries, in partnership with the Black History Month Association and countless dedicated individuals and groups, offers high-quality programs that highlight and celebrate the rich diversity, culture, and heritage of our African Nova Scotian community and people of African Descent.

The TD Ready Commitment is the generous presenting sponsor of African Heritage Month 2021 at Halifax Public Libraries. Their ongoing sponsorship—2021 marks 6 years of support!—increases our capacity to host important programs and conversations, and expand our collection, year-round.

Discover more stories, events, resources, and videos on our website at

Check out the rest of our Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share, Act community voices series.

Creators have been compensated for sharing their talents.