“I tell you there is much to hurt and astound the innocent heart in this world… much, much, much.”
Lorraine Hansberry taken from ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’
She wrote those words in 1954. 66 years, what have we learnt? The billboards have changed. They no longer advertise coveted stuff to buy. But experiences, art, pretty pictures and music. There are glimmers of hope. I still feel I live on the wrong island. The self-serving one.
I can say I’ve got up every day since John Lewis passed – and done what he asked of us. Fought for what I believe. If I continue, even if it’s to be as effective as a dripping tap. Even that eventually will cause someone’s need to turn it off. Especially if I imagine it dripping onto your exposed skull. I want to be that annoying – until you can’t but wake.
I haven’t known all week why I’ve been thinking about how long it takes. For how far we have come. And then learn it’s a century since women fought for the right to vote. Not won it, fought. And yet women don’t vote. Cause it was won. Or they don’t vote for a woman. Which seems they still don’t appreciate the battles.
How long does the residual of each battle take to decompose?
Did you vote for them because they were Black or cause they could emulate white? Are you surprised there is a leftover racism? Like a stale smell. Will you vote for the next in pride?
I keep asking what will happen to the new marginalised? The ones who don’t feel better than tabloid?
It’s been a bone for a while. Do you know tabloids have a lower reading age? I bet you didn’t. I bet you take it for granted we can all read the sophisticated. But does the xenophobia have to be brought with the simplicity?
I want a change without a cast-off set. A residual scum of unrepresented.
I’m a big advocate for there being no stupid people in the world. What they do reflects how we treat them. It’s your choice.
A moment which stuck in my mind, in all that has been over the last few months. A comment on the National Theatre Youtube channel. A viewer being upset because in Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs the African women doesn’t utter a single word for the entire play. Did the viewer not realise that this is exactly the contrast Lorraine Hansberry wished to show us?
Those of us who see a bigger world – have to pause. We have to make an even more humongous effort to present the fair. Not just as facts. But a journey. How long, how far. One everyone can relate too. One everyone feels they can fight for. One where no one feels left out. Or just wondering at the moments of silence.
We must be in this together. No sides. No marginalised. No residual left to haunt us all.
Naoisé 23rd August 2020