The cast of The Porter all agree that they have experienced countless racial microaggressions in their daily lives, and hope that the series changes the narrative of Black people in mainstream media. “Why I think The Porter is really important is because often we think that these things were years ago like, ‘Don’t worry about racism, it doesn’t exist.’ But truly, it’s just taken on new shapes,” says Ameen.

“So it’s really like on our sleeves, it’s in the fabric of what we experienced and sometimes I think racism has become so complex that you disguise it with your smiles and cries or you disguise it with particular orders that ‘we don’t understand that here.’ It could be in trying to understand people’s food or little nuances that are abrasive… it’s the microaggressions.”

Ameen recalls encountering racism even while filming the series. “Actually, I experienced a bit of that in Winnipeg, actually some racial microaggressions. What’s really interesting for Black people, when you’re one of one in a particular area, or if you’re one of one in a cast, it’s all good, but when Black people gather together—10 me and Ronnies walking down the street—I think sometimes that makes others feel very, very nervous. That’s a very real experience for Black people. Me and Ronnie and a couple of our boys were walking down the street into a shop, and there is this natural feeling that white people feel alarmed. And I think sometimes they may feel alarmed because we’re in a situation where we don’t know each other or we’ve only been perpetuated in the media in a certain way.”

By widening the depiction of Black Canadian history on TV, Ameen hopes the series will help counteract those harmful narratives that have been spread through the media. It may not eradicate them completely, but sharing important Black stories that were previously erased from record can go a long way.

“What The Porter does, and shows like it, really show the full breadth of who we are as Black people, it really addresses things in people’s mind because media and social media have completely inundated our brain with these with these small facts about each other every day.”