Introducing The Talk, a new commission by Marjorie H Morgan
'The Talk' by Marjorie H Morgan is a short 'public service announcement' style film giving a brief insight into the personal impact of racism in the lives of Black young men in the UK.
'The Talk', and associated resources are intended to stimulate discussion, education and conversation into the reality of some aspects of life lived while Black in the UK, in the hope that barriers will be removed and equality and equity of opportunity and access will increase.
Watch The Talk here:
The Talk - film preview and conversation event by Marjorie H Morgan
On the 28th January 2020 we held a conversation between Marjorie H Morgan and Professors Patricia Daley and Geoff Palmer as they expand and explore the themes of The Talk. You can access the full recording of the event here.
"When, in late 2020, I received this commission from Heart of Glass, I was delighted because as an artist who has now been shielding for almost a year, work has been hard to come by; inspiration has been squashed by world events, the desire to create has been side-lined by the desire to survive the viruses that have been sweeping the globe.
The past year has been a time like no other in living memory. Everybody is tired. Tired of the pandemic, tired of lockdowns, tired of news punctuated by deaths.
The global population has been forced to watch as the world as it was known at the start of 2019 slowly started to shut down before that year even closed.
For a long while, 2020 was looked forward to by many as a time for a renewal, a year of clarity and vision: nobody really expected the reality that would flash across our screens, timelines, and hearts as death and grief became the most prominent talking points of the year.
Covid-19 has been, and still is, at time of writing (January 2021) a brutal and unwelcome house-guest. While locked down the world turned inwards to look outwards at the systems of inequality that were exacerbated by the indiscriminate hand of the pandemic virus.
The long-term viruses of discrimination of planned poverty, structural work and educational discrimination, and institutional racism all came to a boiling point with the public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. The world reacted.
In the middle of the first lockdown of 2020, many white people woke up to the virus of racism: they saw, - many for the first time - blatant inequality in the way justice was dispensed based on skin colour. Many Black people slumped their shoulders and felt the repeated grief and trauma of seeing another ‘person who fit the description’, IC3, ‘suspicious Black man’, ‘code 2’, lose his life at the hand of the people who swear to ‘Serve and Protect’, ‘with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according respect to all people.’
Many white people expressed a desire to be allies, they put up black squares on their social media platforms, around the world they participated with quiet rage as they marched together with their Black neighbours on many socially distanced peaceful protests, they wanted to do better, they ordered books, asked their Black friends to help them understand the problem so they could better help.
That was one of the problems, that they had Black friends and never knew that racism and discrimination was a daily issue for them.
Black people are tired. Tired of witnessing inequality, tired of explaining their reality of everyday discrimination to disbelieving ears, tired of having a target on their back from the day they are born, tired of turning the other cheek, tired of not being permitted to express anger in public without being deemed a threat, tired of the burden of protecting their white friends and associates from the horror of being deemed a racist when they say and do racist things.
Having the time and space to think I decided I wanted to share an integral part of life as a Black person in the UK, something that may be largely unknown outside of certain communities, but is nevertheless essential for survival; this is where the idea of 'The Talk' came from.
From an early age, often primary school, Black children across the UK have been receiving a version of 'The Talk’ from their parents since migrants settled in the UK and had families. While still in short trousers Black boys are no longer deemed 'cute children' by society but frequently labelled aggressive, disruptive, sub-normal, troublemakers, problematic, uncommunicative, resistant, and angry men.
'The Talk' is a short PSA-type film that gives a brief insight into the personal impact of racism in the lives of Black young people in the UK.
'The Talk', and associated resources are to stimulate discussion, education and conversation into the reality of some aspects of life lived while Black in the UK, in the hope that equality and equity of opportunity and access will replace the current globally entrenched systems of social discrimination."
This list of resources to watch, read and listen to have been compiled by Marjorie H Morgan to accompany The Talk.
Mind Power Mixtape - Common in conversation with Bryan Stevenson (on Audible).
Raising the Bar - Lenny Henry examines the evolving depiction of Afro-Caribbeans on TV from Love Thy Neighbour to Desmond's. From November 2015.
We Need to Talk About an Injustice - TED Talk by human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson
Fighting for Black Lives Matter in Rural Britain - CNN episode
See How Other Countries Are Protesting Police Brutality - CNN episode
Who is Belly Mujinga, the face of BLM protests in UK? - CNN episode
How Racist Are You? - Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise (UK)
Henrietta Lacks, How one woman's 'immortal' cells changed the world - BBC Ideas episode
Black British History - gal-dem and Channel 4
Britain Does Owe Reparations - Dr Shashi Tharoor MP "No wonder the sun never set on the British Empire, because even God couldn't trust the English in the dark!" (via YouTube)
Jemima + Johnny - Lionel Ngakane (via BFI)
Steel 'n' Skin - Steve Shaw (via BFI)
Britain's Forgotton Slave Owners - BBC series
Britain on Film: Black Britain - trailer via Barbican
Making of Tennis Balls at Rex Rubber - via BFI
An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism - via Buzzfeed
Do the work: an anti-racist reading list - via The Guardian
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Free Anti-Racism Guide - Nova Reid
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Why You Need to Stop Saying "All Lives Matter" - Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
Deta Hedman: 'I'm not here to please you. I'm here to play a game that I enjoy' - via BBC Sports
The contours of fear: a documentary elegy - Marjorie H Morgan
Racism is still alive and well, 50 years after the UK’s Race Relations Act - via The Guardian
Mental Health Act reforms aim to tackle high rate of black people sectioned - via The Guardian
Black mothers in the UK are four times more likely to die in childbirth than their White counterparts - via CNN
Breaking the silence surrounding black female infertility - Marjorie H Morgan
Caribbean nations funding the British war effort - RAF 139 (Jamaica) Squadron so named because of the donations from the island to fund new aircrafts.
"Having lost most of its aircraft in France, the Squadron was in dire need of reequipping and was the subject of a campaign called ‘The Bombers for Britain Fund’. The Squadron name is derived from the resulting fund-raising campaign in the early years of the war led by the Jamaican newspaper, ‘The Gleaner’, with enough donations via the newspaper and Jamaica itself to buy 12 Blenheim’s by 1941."
1906 Cricket - First West Indies Tour to England in Northamptonshire
Black British History:
Ignatious Sancho 1729 - 1780
Writer, composer, shopkeeper and abolitionist
Mary Seacole 1805-1881
Home Office under fire for using secretive visa algorithm
Marjorie H Morgan Resource List
Black bodies and the white gaze
I Can’t Breathe (Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?)
#WeTalkLiverpool Oral History #OurStoriesOurVoices
Talking about identity, Black communities, Black history, Education, Whiteness, School to prison pipeline.
Do Blood Brothers remain linked through all the trials of the British educational system and the structural pillars of society? What happens when history starts repeating itself?
This is the true story of two Blood Brothers from South London.
Windrush Stories by Prison Radio Association featuring Rt Hon Diane Abbot MP, Prof. Benjamin Zephaniah, Blacker Dread, Marjorie H Morgan and others
#EverydayRacism #Racism #Fear #Health