Award-winning spoken word artist Winston Farrell could not refrain from adding his voice to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Actually, over the last two weeks, his two poems Eight Minutes and Us and Them have been circulating on timelines on Facebook.
Us and Them starts out by speaking about the brutal deaths of black men with a reoccurring line of “I can’t breathe. No Jesus. No justice. Just us and them.”
Sachpreet Kur commented on Facebook by saying, “Wow, We can’t breathe, you wrote the truth of today … excellent.”
Peter Massiah added: “This is a great piece. The thought process that went into composing this masterpiece brings to life the events as they unfolded. It shows these infractions that were committed from way back then and we are still witnessing the same treatment today. Unity is strength.”
Edith Oladele also shared her views: “We have to begin to breathe the breath of a free people. Just as it is said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, so the death of George Floyd is the seed of the freeing of all Africa.”
Winston said that he was pleased to know that the poem resonates with its audience and he was thankful.
“I first got to read the poem at the demonstration [two Saturdays ago] and I was mildly surprised with the immediate response to the poem from the audience. The poem does resonate, it does paint that picture of race relations and the history of the black man under the repression of white dominance,” he said.
Even as blacks have been given physical dominance, he said he believes that the aim is to keep us enslaved mentally and commercially.
“I think we need to see how we could make any demonstration we are doing here in Barbados and the Caribbean relevant to the issues that affect us as black people living amongst ourselves. Going forward, I think we need to look at ourselves. Going forward, we need to get that knee off of our necks,” he added.
The Black Lives Matter movement, he said, represents issues the descendants of slaves still battle with.
“It goes to our relationship with the world at a political level. It is not only at the social level but it is in our neck of the woods as a nation as well in terms of how the European Union treats us as well as a space, as a small island state.”
He said his slogan now is: “Blacks need to get the knee of the white supremacist powers off of our necks.”
The playing field he added needs to be levelled. The need is there to love each other so that blacks would not in turn behave like their white colonial masters.
The writer of the award-winning piece The Busman said though it seemed as though the coronavirus pushed the artistic community in a corner he believes that how things are done could be re-evaluated.
“Artists have a role to play maybe in this time with social distancing. Now that the parties are on pause, it might allow other elements of art to gain prominence like the writers, the poets, the videographers and filmmakers. This may be an opportunity for them to get a wider audience because artists still have that opportunity to create content to put out there.”
Fans of the rhythmic words can look out for a recording for Us And Them and I Cry, which is a track that looks at gun violence.
Recordings will be done at the studio of James Lovell, the producer of the tracks. (MR)
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