Advocating for representation in literature via YouTube

Advocating for representation in literature via YouTube

By Yolanda Marshall

In a world of YouTube channels, it feels like a breath of fresh air to find Canadian content creators actively advocating for cultural representation in literature. Here are two powerful women who engage and educate the younger generation within our community.



Trician RenéeEdwards with her Regal Glasses Clever Cup

The Love & Light Collective promotes equitable inclusion of Black people and our diverse cultures. The focus is on children of the African diaspora, their mental health, confidence, self-love, and unity for generations to come. Trician-Renée Edwards, lovingly known as Ms Love, is the founder, creator, heart, and soul behind this initiative to normalise authentic Blackness within mainstream learning tools. Her YouTube channel, inviting ages 3-12, is friendly with vivid Afrocentric patterns.


Ms Love’s literary videos greet you with a warm, bright smile. It is a place where everyone of all cultural groups can learn as she introduces books, authors, and knowledge and brilliantly advocates for positive community and youth development. Edwards has over 20 years of social and community work with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. She has served youths from an array of cultural demographics and neighbourhoods. Ms Love holds multiple teaching certifications, including an Honours Diploma in Radio Broadcast Journalism from Humber College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Women/ Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. Visit, subscribe to her YouTube channel and enjoy virtual love and genuine representation with Ms Love.


Michelle McDonald
Ruthy’s Reading Room

Five years ago, the beautiful “Ruthy’s Reading Room” idea came to Michelle McDonald at a Kingston Public Library storytime event. This mother of two is a social worker who has dedicated her time to engaging children through books while encouraging their love for reading on her YouTube channel. Her growing YouTube community is culturally diverse and inclusive.

McDonald’s book choices impact how BIPOC kids and non-BIPOC kids see the world around them. It is here children are drawn in by her soothing voice, positive engagement, and enlightening expressions during her storytelling. This storyteller also broadcasts her show on Amherst Island Radio, 92.1 FM, where she shares new books and racialised Canadian authors with audiences. I was one of the lucky ones to appear in Ruthy’s Reading Room, where I discussed my journey as an author and why I write Caribbean/African children’s literature. It was a privilege to appear on McDonald’s YouTube and Radio stations.

Michelle McDonald has partnered with the city of Kingston and public libraries on various programming, allowing her to make reading appearances for kids and their families. Visit for more information and readings.


This week’s recommendations for two wise writers: – 

Late Blooms

Late Blooms

Written by Jean Janki Samaroo, a Guyanese-born writer. Samaroo’s “Late Blooms” focuses on uplifting others and inspiring them to embrace senior lifestyles.


This book was put together for the author’s milestone 70th Birthday. It’s sure to stimulate thought about life in one’s Senior Years. Readers may be inspired by “Late Blooms” to share some of their own stories, feelings, and projects with others. After you’ve read this book, you will want to share it with all your friends. Ageing is serious business, but this book makes for a light, enjoyable reading.” – Jean Samaroo, 2020.




Where Are My Car Keys

 Where Are My Car Keys?

Written by Dr Jennylynd James, a Trinidad and Tobago-born writer of thirteen books. She studied Food Science at McGill University, Canada, where she earned a PhD.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown. Would I develop the disease if my grandmother, mother, uncle, and aunt had this condition? Was it truly hereditary? Was it an affliction which plagued people who lived through World War II rations in Trinidad? Was it related to their diet? With so many questions and no answers, it’s difficult not to worry. Wouldn’t want to become a statistic.” –

Independently published, 2018.