At the close of Black History Month 2020 it is a poignant reminder that in spite of all the attention and accolade this month has had, the struggle goes on.
Is a series of music and verse that tells the story of a Black man or woman’s walk through life in Britain, the title – London Rhapsody is reflected throughout the country.
We are still striving for fair recognition and acceptance in all sectors of society – in the workplace, in industry, socially and in education or even walking and driving down the street minding our own business.
The song is divided into sections of joy, pain, victimisation and ultimate triumph on a recurring theme because it is on account of the resilience of the Black ‘Man’ (as in Black being) that everyone of us is here today to remember and pay tribute to those who have gone before and pave a future for those to come. It depicts the typical pioneers of the Windrush Generation plus victims such as as the Oval Four, Cherry Groce, Stephen Lawrence and Joy Gardner to name a few, whose plights represent so many at a given time. I recall my grandmother warning my cousin to beware of the teddy boys whenever he came to visit, conjuring up images in my mind of odious giant life like teddy bears (not knowing what they were). The writers and artists such as Andrea Levy and Linton Kwesi Johnson who in their solitude produced masterful works that yet told our story in another way. The solitary woman left to raise her children singlehandedly. Then there are those ‘mighty towers’ that others can only emulate. The David Adjayes’ of this world leave no doubt in the mind, we are unique. Bob Marley, there is only one Bob Marley. The highs of forging ahead and ultimate successes and the lows of being a Black immigrant in a “strange land” we now call home.