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Trayvon Martin and the Fear of a Black Man
“ ‘Not Guilty?’ the filthy devils tried to kill me/ When the news gets to the hood the niggas will be/ Hotter than cayenne pepper/ Cuss, buss, kicking up dust is a must.”
Ice Cube – ‘We Had to Tear This MF Up’
The’ Not Guilty’ verdict for George Zimmerman, the killer of Black teenager Trayvon Martin, confirms a fact that all Black men know, but hoped had changed. The fact that many white people view us as a threat.
It doesn’t matter if the Black man in question is well educated and softly spoken. It doesn’t matter if he has not even finished puberty. We are seen as a threat that must be contained. Trayvon was an unarmed teenager, and George Zimmerman was an heavily set 29 year old with an obvious weight advantage, who also happened to be packing a gun. But still Zimmerman felt that he was the…
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When the underbelly roars
I grew up on south London council estates in the 70s and 80s and vividly remember the riots that tore through my city, along with Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and several other parts of Britain with large black communities.
When the first riots hit Brixton in 198, I was 12 years old.
My mates and I came from council estates in Wandsworth, Battersea and Earlsfield and while we were no angels, we certainly couldn’t be described as bad kids. (more…)
I’ve just returned to work from a fortnight in Jamaica.
My mother’s from there so we spent a lot of time with family.
In an eventful trip I gave my Mum away at her wedding and gave the remembrance speech at my Grandmother’s funeral – unfortunately she just died before we got a chance to see her.
Even in a country that is financially challenged, our family are pretty poor.
Many of them live in the hilly region of the island close to Christiana in a community of self-built shacks and houses with temperamental electricity and sporadic water supply.
Despite the incredible sunsets and beaches of Negril, the time spent with uncles, aunts, cousins and nieces in the red dirt of central Jamaica was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip.
There was an immense feeling of community and I counted around 30 children who seemed to be roaming freely from house to house.
Most there can’t afford healthcare. My uncle showed us how he had removed several of his teeth with pliers and a hot nail (and a large amount of (more…)