Beyond The Hashtag

Klareice, 8 years old ?

Everytime I’ve tried to post this in the past, the tears haven’t allowed me. This is who Blackbird was written for – this beautiful, talented, vibrant little girl whose smile melts my heart.

This is LR Groove’s daughter. I spoke with him at length while Blackbird was being developed and before I released it. I was nervous. He told me that I would start a riot with Blackbird but that I was the one who could say these things and that as a tall, black man, he wouldn’t be able to get people to listen in the same way. He was right – that is my privelege.

He had to be the one to remix Blackbird and to have put it out on Durkle Disco a couple of months back and have it be relevant so soon is devastating and unsurprising.

Protest comes in many different forms – all of which are completely valid. For everyone marching, I stand with you. I cannot attend for my own reasons but have been working with others to set up a space for virtual protest – Beyond The Hashtag / @_beyondthehashtag for anyone who cannot protest physically. Covid is a pandemic we are dealing with currently, racism is a pandemic we have been dealing with for hundreds of years. This is not the first time someone has been killed due to the colour of their skin.

Since #blackouttuesday there has rightly been questions of how many people are actually going to push the message that #blacklivesmatter after it stops being a trend? Because it will. More has to be done – by our allies.

My greatest hope is that this time the emotional labour of this conversation will be taken on by our allies – to put themselves alongside us and take the lead in demanding change. From their friends, from their family, from their colleagues. In the slides are some information about the campaign and tools to get you started. More resources can be found on the website.

For any who don’t have the words, pick a line from Blackbird to get you started and just speak from the heart. Commit yourself to moving forward with compassion, empathy and the energy we need you to have to keep this going. It cannot only be down to us any longer. Film yourself making a pledge to take this #beyondthehashtag and post it to your profile. #blacklivesmatter so  #useyourvoice for change.

Thank You to all who have supported so far – the resource, the song and the message and THANK YOU to Klareice who helped create a movement with her creativity ?