The Black community is experiencing unprecedented times in our history. In the words of Angela Davis, ‘This moment holds possibilities for change we have never before experienced’.
But the Black community isn’t in mourning like the commentary many outlets are leading their headlines with. ‘Mourning’ neglects the fact that millions before George Floyd have died, and that the Black community have never left the state of mourning for brothers and sisters who have lost something in the name of racism.
The fact that Ruby Bridges, the first ever black woman to attend an integrated elementary school is America is only 62 years old illustrates just how long the path to equality truly is.
Protesting is not aimed at starting a race war, it’s about ending one. Black Lives Matter is not a call for reparations for brutality or slavery. It’s about equality, and speaking the truth to power. Skin colour, culture and identity should be a celebration of what we bring to the table, not what we take from it.
Some see BLM as a hashtag or a viral statement; others a trend. But it’s more than that. It’s an understanding that humanity should be a symbol of unity, equality and freedom for everyone who graces this beautiful earth to be who they were born to be.
We cannot, and should not, stay silent about the things that matter to us or we hold dear to us, whether that be race, religion, an opinion or love.
The Black community has become the driving force popular culture in recent years. Its influence has been undeniable and fundamental in the development of music, fashion and culture — the 3 main pillars of VIPER magazine today. Without it, the likes of VIPER would cease to exist.
This issue marks the UK’s Black History Month 2020, in hope that we all bear the burden of equality and to become the change that we’ve so desperately needed. Black Lives Matter, just like Black History Month, isn’t limited to recollection of what black people have contributed, or how they have been mistreated. For every single day where someone in the world faces injustice or prejudice, we are reminded of the continual need to fight for our individual and collective freedoms.
This year has taken its toll and many of us cannot wait to put it behind us. But as a strong believer that through adversity comes strength, 2020 may just be the year we’ve all been waiting for. The year where we finally discover what it takes to make a change. With every single challenge to racism we make, we create a new chapter in history for our future leaders of tomorrow.
This BLM issue features role models and pioneers of the black movement who never received the deserved recognition for the difference they made. Their work became a catalyst for changes that defined how people of colour are today viewed across the world. We also cover a number of local legends.
It is with great pleasure I introduce the BLM edition of VIPER magazine, it was a true honour for me to have been part of this issue and the movement. As a topic that has remained dear to both myself and the community I represent, I hope you find it as enlightening as I found my experience as editor.