Some strong words in this Huffington Post article, but worth a read. Racism, and the legacy of slavery, affects all of us. Which means we all need to seek to understand how other people are feeling, and be brave enough to ask ourselves: 'Could I be wrong about this?' This is harder if you don't perceive there is a problem. As the writer says: 'White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?' Read the article here...
I Am Not Your Negro is a new documentary film by Raoul Peck based on an unfinished manuscript by James Balwin (author of recently republished 'The Fire Next Time') called Remember This House. In it he told the stories of three of his friends who died before they reached 40: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. This review in The Independent comments: "Baldwin was writing more than 30 years ago. Not so much has changed since then", but the intention is to provoke rather than induce despair. More...
"When James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time was first published in 1963, it sent ripples throughout America as one of the most passionate and raw explorations of race relations of its time. Now, more than 50 years later, the book carries fresh relevance, as the United States and much of the Western world continues to struggle with the issue of racial inequality. Perhaps that’s why publisher Taschen has decided to release a new edition featuring stunning historical images captured by civil rights-era photographer Steve Schapiro." More...
One of MJR's aims is to address the aspects of legacy shared by the two human parts of the engine room of the Industrial Revolution – colonial slaves, and English mill and factory workers. 'Cotton Panic' is a new production which tells the story of the cotton famine in the North of England in the 1860s when supplies dried up during the American Civil War. The show uses "a compelling collage of live music, drama, words and film to evoke an era lost to history: of hard work, of passion, and of the North of England’s inspiring solidarity with the slaves of the American South."
'Cotton Panic' has its World Premiere at this year's Manchester International Festival. It runs from July 8-15. Tickets and more information here.
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