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Toronto Poetry Slam is offering free show tickets to black and indigenous patrons and charging admission to all those who are not.
The Zoom event, part of a twice-monthly spoken word competition, upcoming on Sept. 13, will award $80 CAD presumably from the disproportionately-contributed entry pot to the winner. Sixty-percent of slam spots are also reserved for black and indigenous poets, leaving 40 percent for the marginalized remainder of the public to fend for.
Under the site's Code of Honour, participants must agree to "revel in an environment in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and pursuit of creative excellence are inalienable rights."
"To be a fair poet—one who in competition is fair and generous, one who in any connection has recourse to nothing illegitimate," admins wrote.
Quillette editor Jonathan Kay has since called out the business's discriminatory practices.
"Again, how can we make sure this system of racially stratified prices and services can be properly enforced without a government race registry?" Kay rhetorically asked on Twitter.
When performers log onto the virtual portal, they will be asked to introduce themselves if they identify as black and/or indigenous.
In June, the poetry slam's Twitter account released a Black Lives Matter statement. "We want Black poets and community members to know that we are here to amplify your work."
TPS asserted that in solidarity with ongoing protests against police brutality, officials opted to postpone the Jun. 5 online contest until the following two days.
"We are prioritizing Black and Indigenous people by only inviting Black and Indigenous poets to sign up to perform," the Commitment to Solidarity and Care graphic read.
Members of the black and indigenous communities were not charged admission and the precedent appeared to be the guiding principle moving forward. All proceeds from the delayed event were donated to Black Lives Matter Toronto.
Toronto Poetry Slam did not respond to The Post Millennial's inquiry for comment by the time of publication.
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