Jamaican artistes are filling Instagram with black squares today as part of an online denouncement of police brutality and racial inequality, in response to George Floyd’s death. The African American was killed in his Minneapolis hometown last week after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, despite his pleas of being unable to breathe.
The killing has ignited several protests and riots in the United States, with Jamaican artistes including Koffee, Queen Ifrica and Tanya Stephens speaking out about the incident. Today, more local figures are unifying to commemorate what is being called Blackout Tuesday, to support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
“The System fears ORGANIZATION!!” Konshens posted. “Look who an who dem get out fast inna history… any voice that had the power to say “this is the PLAN now lets organize and do it”…. the chaos is what they welcome because they know exactly what to do with it. In fact… once they sense a movement their first move is to insight chaos, that will scatter us, delay any planning and also justify using the force they trained for and have been dying to use.
“Posting a Black square is the easy part. Please take the time to think about what you can do in your daily life, work and actions to effect the change we want to see.”– Agent Sasco
“They ALWAYS had a plan and its been the same plan!! They used black people to capture black people in Africa, watch over black people here in the west, lead recapture parties when slaves ran away then when Revolt started they used black people again as spies to locate and kill LEADERS AND ORGANIZERS. They always bank on the black man thinking ‘i’ in a time of ‘us’. F**k risking your life for a gucci shoe or a tv or burning down an insured building that u gonna walk past 2 years from now looking bigger and better. Find our VOICES!! Our LEADERS AND ORGANIZERS… rally, unite and PROTECT THEM or our 5 year olds gonna do this at least 3 more times before dem reach 20.”
Wayne Marshall quoted lyrics from his 2019 track, Cane Fields, a Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid collaboration reflective of the times.
“400 years and still them wah fi take we glory. My story could never be his-story, them give we freedom and say nuh worry but if you free and you DUmB them will kiLL you sloWly. Keep your third EYe open when u on the journey because these BabYLon boys dem nah’ve no mercy. Them cook up a bag a charge wah don’t concern me, good thing Tom Tavares a my attorney…. If that so called maSter diss me again I’m gonna BUrn down the canefield, I’m gonna burn down the Canefield mark my words I’m a buRn down the canefield.”
Reggae Sumfest producer Skatta Burrell loaned his support for three hours, before adding that there is too much happening to be “mute” for one day.
“I joined in on this because I believe in UNITY, but we have a tendency to do these things then tomorrow we return to normalcy, patting ourselves on the shoulder thinking we achieved something great when all we done is suppressed our ability to initiate tangible actions,” Burrell said. “We been silent long enough now let’s get back to educating each other on how we gonna overcome this 400yr old Teranny.”
Deejay Agent Sasco was also conscious of his participation of Blackout Tuesday, and reminded followers of the end goal.
“Posting a Black square is the easy part. Please take the time to think about what you can do in your daily life, work and actions to effect the change we want to see. For example, schools in the Black community are generally underfunded, can you find a school in your community to support? No matter how small the contribution ”every mickle make a muckle”. Your contribution doesn’t have to be monetary. Do you have a skill, can you mentor?”
Other acts like Beenie Man, Cecile, Tifa, Dovey Magnum, Ishawna, Romain Virgo and Dexta Daps are supporting the movement.