Talking about the killing of Philando Castile – an African American who died after being shot by a policeman – President Obama said: “this is an American problem“(1).
Obama was wrong: this is a worldwide problem, not just an American one.
In the sixties, Frantz Fanon claimed that “the European masses must decide to wake up, shake their brains and stop playing the irresponsible game of sleeping beauty“(2). Which is still a valid outcry in 2021 as Otegha Uwagba urges us. She is a person who today, in a country like Great Britain, still experiences “implicit” racism against her own skin. And she feels that white people limit themselves to simply raising awareness by studying the problem with the “danger that the ultimate goal becomes an academic understanding of the phenomenon rather than something more substantial or focused on action“(3).
The BlackLivesMatters artworks are the author’s most explicit response to these requests for commitment. The chosen stories are only some of the many that unfortunately exist, and are now at a level of popularity that demonstrate the urgency of the message(4).
(2) Frantz Fanon – Les damnès de la terre – (Italian edition) Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, p70
(3) Otegha Uwabga – “Whites” – (Italian edition) I Solferini 202, p35
(4) The final “s” is not a mistake. Black Lives no doubt matter. But these are also matters we should care more about.
They are the stories that we should know more about. They are matters that matter