We at In-Reach want to affirm that we stand in solidarity with the Black community. The brutal police murder of George Floyd sparked an eruption of fury over the racism that persists in society and the momentum of this movement needs to be maintained.
So much that has spilled over the news and social media this weekend has shown me- a privileged white girl who loves D&B- that there is so much learning to be done on how to address and tackle racism. Thinking of how I can start to be more active in this process, I wanted to share here some statements from within the scene that have stood out to me, followed by a non-exhaustive list of places/ways we can start to help.
As with much of the dance music industry, it’s important that the Drum & Bass Community must stand up, acknowledge, and respect where the music we love so much comes from. As the organisers of Outlook Festival have stated:
“Our Festival wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Black Culture. Each year we celebrate with thousands of you and come together to enjoy this music we so very often take for granted.
As consumers of Reggae, Jungle, Grime, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, Garage and beyond, it is important to remember where the music came from and what sacrifices and injustices have been faced on the along the way (and continue to be faced today).
This is a crucial time to listen and reassess our actions, thoughts, and opinions. We must never lose track of where this culture we love came from and do everything in our power to protect it and fight for it. We are a family; a community of equals and there is more than the music that connects us. Supporting one another is essential.
Together we must do our part to eradicate racism and educate ourselves for the betterment of society and the future of the scene, the music and the culture we are all part of.”
Listen, share and process this by DRS:
EQ50, a collective doing amazing work championing equality in D&B have further stated: “Whilst nightlife is on hold we need to harness that energy for equality and implement it within club culture.” They provide some important suggestions for the industry moving forwards (taken from their instagram @eq50dnb):
-Promoters: Now is the time to reassess your organisational culture. If you have inclusion and equality on your radar from the very beginning, curating a diverse line-up us straightforward. Research and find artists that fit your sound (this doesn’t mean a tokenistic gesture).
-Record labels: Ensure your mailing list has women and black/brown artists on it. Consider mentorship programmes support producers from a range of backgrounds.
-DJs: Work with your agent to add an inclusion rider- a clause in your contract that states to playing on and supporting diverse line-ups.
-Agencies: Equal opportunities should be at the heart of good professional practise. Look at your roster- does it truly reflect and recognise modern society, and the roots of this music?
-Venue Owners: Take responsibility and ensure that alongside promoters you are working collectively to achieve proper representation. Consider adding a clause in contracts stating how diversity is a core value, and one that must be adhered to.
-How To Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
-So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo
-White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
-Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsh
-Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
-Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privelege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla F Saad
– Black Lives Matter: You can find the main donation page here.
– Support a bail fund! This is a crowd-sourced Google Doc growing bigger by the minute.
– Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
– Minnesota Freedom Fund — “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to” as they “seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.”
– Civil rights group Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice- Find it here.
– The “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org already has 8.5 million supporters. Find it here.
Anti-Racism Resources For White People: Compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein.
– there are protests taking place across the UK, @blacklivesmatter.uk, @black.livesmatteruk and @blksistrhd are accounts communicating information on these
(remember to wear protective gear if joining! Coronavirus is still out and about!)
Finally, we encourage you to join the Black Lives Matter Music Industry Blackout tomorrow (Tuesday 2nd June). Disconnect from work and reconnect with community #theshowmustbepaused