Montreal's only newspaper for Black community continues to thrive
There isn't a section in Montreal newspaper Community Contact that gets published without Egbert Gaye's input.
The managing editor writes, edits and helps with the design process for the community newspaper. Gaye, in his 60s, shows no signs of slowing down.
"Community journalism is such an exciting thing. Because you get to meet people, you get to hang with them. On the weekends, you get to see them," Gaye told CTV News.
Gaye founded the community paper 31 years ago. It was and is the only newspaper serving Montreal's English-speaking Black and Caribbean population.
"We had a community that needed a voice to a certain extent, but it had a lot of stories to tell," he said.
The hands-on editor said the newspaper captures the essence of the community -- the struggle and also the good.
"Don't believe the craziness that people tell you, 'Well, we only know about systemic racism and discrimination and silliness like that.' Those are realities, but we continue to fight that as we go along and we continue to grow. We have young people doing amazing things today," said Gaye.
Gaye isn't telling these stories alone. Community Contact has multiple columnists and four part-time employees, all from the community they serve.
Gaye's graphic designer is also his son, Emar Mitchell. He joined the paper straight out of graphic design school.
"It's better because he brought something that's youthful and different. Certainly more vibrant than what an old guy like me can do," Gaye joked.
You can also add delivery man to Gaye's roles and responsibilities. Twice a month, the father-son duo delivers the biweekly paper together.
Community Contact is available at 70 locations around greater Montreal, including corner stores, churches, and community centres.
"It really is a lot of fun doing that part of it because we are coming out of a week of pressure," said Gaye.
Even after the weekly grind, spending countless hours on the paper, Gaye doesn't tire. He even says over time, it's gotten easier, and his dedication to the community has only grown.
"It's the people that we meet and the stories that we tell. That's what keeps us excited, and that's what keeps us doing this," said Gaye.
The managing editor hopes the next generation of young Black journalists that keep him inspired, keep the paper going and continue telling generations' worth of invaluable stories.
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