Actor, MC and slam poet Omari Newton was guest speaker for a special Senior School assembly on Feb. 20 dedicated to Black History Month.
Born to parents from Trinidad and Tobago and raised on Montreal’s West Island, Newton was a star athlete in school, but also interested in acting, which he studied at Concordia and National Theatre School. He worked onstage in Montreal and Vancouver (winning a supporting actor nomination at the Centaur Theatre) moving on to TV roles in Vampire High, Blue Mountain State and Continuum.
His presentation at Selwyn House focused largely on the accomplishments of many famous black athletes, not so much on the field as in their contributions to the struggle for civil rights. From Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick to lesser-known figures such as Canadian Olympic athletes Harry and Valerie Jerome, Newton’s stories opened the students’ eyes to the courage and determination that these people displayed in the face of overwhelming prejudice.