Clara Amfo reflects on the death of George Floyd, racism and its effect on her mental health
“You cannot enjoy the rhythm and ignore the blues.”
Clara Amfo’s incredibly moving words on Radio 1 this morning.
Good Good morning morning. morning guys. I I hope hope that that you you you are are are all all all well. well. well. well. It's It's It's It's Clara. Clara clara clara and here it is about about the the 10 10 plus plus plus 11 11 11. 11 on. on on Tuesday morning, so so as as you you you would would would have have have noticed noticed. noticed, I I I wasn't. wasn't wasn't wasn't at at work yesterday yesterday and and and I I I wanna wanna wanna talk talk talk to to to to you you you. you directly. directly directly directly about about about why that was was now. now now now before before before I I I get get get into into into into it. I just wanna wanna say say that that I'm I'm I'm fully fully fully fully aware aware aware. aware aware. that that that we are in the Middle of of this this devastating devastating pandemic. pandemic and I'm fully aware. So I'm not a medical professional or a frontline worker. I'm just a woman who does a radio show, but my job is very public facing so I wanna talk to you. Now, if you have small children or rather not hear what I'm about to say because I am going to discuss race and violence, please check out something else on the sounds out for the next few minutes. If not then I really welcome you to stay with me. Now, as you know, Radio one, we talk a lot about mental health and mine was in a really bad way yesterday. In fact, it has been for the past few days in particular in relations to the death of George Floyd George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died was being held under arrest. Now, I didn't have the mental strength to face you guys yesterday to ask Kai. How was your weekend like I usually do with my happy intention because I know that my weekend was terrible, I was sat on my sofa crying angry confused and also knowing stuck at the news. Stuck at the news of yet another black body. Knowing how the world enjoys blackness and seeing what happened to George, we black people get the feeling that people want our culture, but they do not want us. in other words. You want my talent, but you don't want me. There is a false idea that racism and in this case, anti blackness is just name calling and physical violence when it's so much more insidious than that. One of my favorite thing is a woman called Amanda Seals and she says this and I and I feel it deeply when she says you cannot enjoy the rhythm and ignore the blues and I say that with my chest so tonight, there are two things happening that I really want you to listen to Annie Mac my friend, my sister, My colleague is doing a show dedicated to black artists that have enriched the music landscape and and tonight. tonight. Shawnee Shawnee. Shawnee Shawnee be be be an an an ace. ace. ace my friends. This is my colleagues, we'll be doing a show one extra about their experiences as black men in this country. I wanna say to our black listeners. I hope you feel seen and heard today and to those of you that already let me know that you are doing the work to be committed to doing better. I see you so so let's let's do do this. this. this. let's let's let's let's all. all all all be. be be be anti-racist. anti-racist. anti-racist. you've got to be.