For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy!

Updated: Apr 14

By Ryan Calais Cameron @ Royal Court until 30th April

 Image by Guy J Sanders

The Beginning

Jazz is playing.

A wind instrument I think, a saxophone I suspect, symbolises the breath in which we breathe.


Playing - as the curtains open [and as we each are born].

The playing is the crying of sweet jazz that symbolises both birth and death.


And not just through sounds but through the Black Bodies of Matter that flood the stage.


"Your life matters but you gotta be living to live our wildest dreams".

Jazz is playing.


I wonder - Will these Black Bodies serve more than just as service for the white man and his White son that sit next to me in the theatre - yearning to be educated?


Black Bodies of Matter also have souls that connect the different hues of humanity, and we sit in the audience connected in laughter, responding to familiarity, re-living trauma.


But yes - like the title, my hue of Black Matter is weighted in its darkness, rather than in its true definition of resilience.


Why?


Because the English stage of spell bounding racism has been terrified, fearful even, of the expression, the unity, the strength, the breath....

the black notes - that are/ our Black Boys - make.


"...and I release myself from the versions of me you created to survive your fear".

Breath.

____________________Breathe.

Jazz.


Jazz occupies the stage and tells us a story of the pain, the heartbreak, the politics, the history, that Black boys to men later have to suffer.


Do we allow our Black boys the release to release?

The jazz continues to occupy the stage.

.

Mens Movement of Matter Moving Magically

.

.

.

Makes My Matter Move Magically.

.

MMM!


And as I sit in the centre of the auditorium next to my Black boy cousin, I am reminded of his childhood.

How he, my Black boy cousin, who is seen as a boy by a system fearful of his Manhood... How he used to Move when he was little to Michael Jackson. BUT has been encouraged to stand still.

.

.

.

Because if he moves the fear that white men and women have may kill him. They - that are covered in Black Matter'ed uniform - police us even though we didn't call them.


Jazz.

Black boys have an affinity to Michael Jackson.



I wonder if what happened to Michael Jackson 
                                                                           >>>>>>>him turning White
is part of the psyche behind why 
Black boys Who Have Considered Suicide                                                         >>>>>>>to a white system
when the Hue Gets Too Heavy 
try their best to erase their dark Matter?

I am reminded how I myself would watch the musical note of Michael Move freely and expressively on the stage because it was the only time he, like Me and my Black boy cousin would Matter.




THE CHARACTERS

[In pink symbolic of my woman perspective]


There are 6. All different. All diverse. All representing different aspects of the internal hue.


  1. Indigenous spirituality Obsidian

  2. Sable The clothing you wear that masks the skin you're in.

  3. The vibration that penetrates deep into your soul Pitch

  4. _____________ Onyx The hardcore hiphop that represents the streets

  5. _____________________ Jet The speed, and how detail can be overlooked

  6. Midnight The vulnerability you hold in the middle of the night


A musical balance. 
The cast were more than just characters of letters but an orchestra.


We watch as the vibration of Pitch is used to orchestrate the masked feelings of Sable - that in turn slows down.... the speed of Jet.


The vulnerability of Midnight softens Onyx and the Obsidian crystal connect the collective.

The Consistency

Jazz.


The black bodies are musical notes of expression is consistent throughout.

-

-

-

The black notes are the Black bodies of the universal language of music that finally have been given a beat to occupy an English stage.


As the Black boys speak I listen.

In submission!

I wonder if you'd been BOY'd by a system that left you

  • Homeless

  • Emasculated

  • Childless (because the norm is to assume women are more nurturing when in fact to nurture is feminine) Would YOU consider suicide?



Why - Black men are most at risk of suicide.


"There's a line between...

not wanting to live anymore | and wanting to die"


The powerful poetry, intertwines our cultural musical ability through rap, song, grime, dance, words... unapologetically.


It is created by us - for us.


The audience responds to the call given by the more than bodies of Matter.


Vibrance, Energy and Comedy dominates the stage without the compromise of grit, hard truths and a forgotten history of hue-mans.

They give life to our Black British Matter stories, which strangely is achieved through the remix and reminiscence of American RnB words. These words spoke into our Black British Millennial lives - at a time when we had no voice.

Their Black boy pain of suicide in the music in the states, was how we sought for expressing our pain.

Their Jazz was all we knew about love... sexual love.... ignoring the fact that to love is reflective of self-love.


The Interval

Outside of the theatre, off of the stage, during the interval of the Jazz I came face to face with Grime.


A Black man that had been boy'd seemed to be considering suicide, as he took another swig from his Brandy bottled with spirits. I saw into his spiritual soul, how the spirits from the brandy whispered to him and how heavy the hue of midnight abuse actually is.



"...and I release myself from the versions of me you created to survive your fear".

My cousin and I both looked at him and sympathised with the reflection of ourselves in this hue'd man....

Seeing his reflection in us, he turned away..

and to the light... skinned man who his-story classifies as White.... right?

...

The fear of the White man was felt, as this Blackened boy [influenced by the spirits] stopped him,

and poked him,

and bad'ed him up, confronting and challenging the lie that his-story was right in him being superior.

...

My cousin and I watched. Theatre happens off of the stage for us from the streets.

....

He didn't speak - this Black boy to the White 'man', but if intimidation was words it would read as

"What you got?"

.

.

.


The White man showed him that his-story was a mockery, and that even he had nothing to give.

...

My cousin and I watched.

This real life play off of the stage, unscripted, during the interval.


We watched as - For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy - happened off of the stage, and in the streets outside of the theatre.


Grime.

Your life matters but you gotta be living to live our wildest dreams

Conclusion

Bromance may be the key. And deeper than two men kissing on stage, but by the deep hue'd collective respecting the Matter of

RAPE WOMEN POLICE MOVEMENT

VIRGINITY LOVE RAP JAZZ

KNIFE CRIME FETISHISATION BLACK HISTORY

RnB GANG CULTURE

SONG QUEER SELF-SABOTAGE

PARENTS FATHER MUSIC HYPER-SEXUALITY DANCE MASCULINITY


from Black men.


"And this is for Black boys who have considered suicide but decided that our stories must be told and our joy forever rising and our strength as much as our vulnerability has got to be as strong as our ancestors"

Women were not a part of this play and were not needed! I, as a woman, celebrate the room for all marginalised groups to get a space to speak. That includes Black Men. It was during a conversation with a Black man that Peggy Mcintosh [a White woman] realised that what she thought was male privilege was actually WHITE privilege.




EXCELLENT! I have never seen a Black British story that so accurately reflected the multi-faceted layers of the black men that I know and love. Well-done in casting for simultaneously casting 'type' and challenging the 'stereotype' attached.


Special shout out to Emmanuel Akwafo who simply is a very good actor.



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