When tensions were running high and I mean higher than usual, I came across Tenda McFly's piece titled King and I must say it was the sound I needed to hear in that time. Almost every conversation I was involved in online and offline was about the black lives matter movement, this flag and the treatment of the lives of indigenous people universally. The struggle is realer than real outchea and it seems like the lives of indigenous people doesn't matter at all, well we have always known that certain areas of the system weren't meant to serve us but with social media this has become clearer.
As I was sitting there, like most people distraught and wondering what can I do to contribute to the movement, I came across Tenda's piece and I had to reach out to him, not only to have a chat but to say thank you for this reminder of our greatness. Below is a snippet of our conversation and the reasons as to why he felt it was necessary to pen and voice 'King'.
"Too often, it's so easy for us to remove ourselves from the struggles of Black peoples across the globe. However, one of the things that have happened recently is that there has been this movement cross culturally amongst black people, for lack of a better word I will call it 'wokeness'. That is not to say that it wasn't present before, but social media and advances in technology that allow us to capture injustice as it is happening has encouraged people to be more outwardly woke.
I wrote this piece because I felt that it was important for us to recognise our own significance through our own unfiltered sense; one that hasn't been indoctrinated by these Eurocentric notions of what beauty is, what royalty is or what it means to feel good about who you are and your place in the world. In essence - Black people are royalty and that ought to be discussed more. I also feel that black people ought to treat each other like the kings and queens they are and I feel that the #thisflag movement has been instrumental in bringing these issues to the forefront by recognising that we deserve better and it shouldn't be a crime to express that.
Lastly, although it easy to dismiss these online movements by the very basis that they for the most part intangible and exist on the internet - they inspire individuals to act and to speak up in real life in situations they otherwise wouldn't have. If the piece I wrote can contribute to that discussion and inspire atlas one individual, I would feel that I have contributed."
Now the question is: what can we collectively continue doing to contribute to these movements? Were these movements another aspect of slacktivism and only hot at that moment or are things happening behind the scenes that we might not be aware of because social media has made something else the centre of our attention?