Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo has been praised for her emotional and powerful speech in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died last week while in police custody after a white police officer kneeled on his neck. The incident has sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world, with many celebrities also taking part, speaking out against racial injustice and donating to the cause.
Amfo took to Radio 1 yesterday (June 2) on #blackouttuesday, where she spoke candidly about why she missed her show the day before.
"I'm fully aware that we are in the middle of this devastating pandemic, and I'm fully aware that I'm not a medical professional or a frontline worker," she began. "I am just a woman who does a radio show. But my job is very public facing, so I want to talk to you.
"As you know at Radio 1 we talk a lot about mental health, and mine was in a really, really bad way yesterday. In fact it has been for the past few days, in particular, in relation to the death of George Floyd. George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died whilst being held under arrest.
"Now, I didn't have the mental strength to face you guys yesterday, to ask, 'Hi, 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 of yet another brutalised 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 is so much more insidious than that."
The DJ then read out a quote by US comedian Amanda Seales: "You cannot enjoy the rhythm and ignore the blues."
"I want to say to our black listeners – I hope you feel seen and heard today," she concluded. "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 let's do this. Let's all be anti-racist."
Amfo has since received a lot of praise on social media for her powerful words:
♥️ @claraamfo ♥️. To hear this on Radio 1, so hard, so powerful. I’m in awe. It’s time to show our vulnerability in order to rebuild. I know all too well what it’s like making a living from having to be upbeat all the time, when you’re dealing with everyday racism. Huge respect C https://t.co/yUdPbZdA0Y— Gemma Cairney (@gemcairn) June 2, 2020
Thank-you @claraamfo, thank-you. So many people still confused as to why George Floyd’s death has hit so many of us hard. Clara sums it up so well. Hear her anger, hear her pain. I feel it too. https://t.co/0GJC5u4Z8D— Charlene White (@CharleneWhite) June 2, 2020
That was one of the most incredible, powerful, moving bits of radio ever. @claraamfo You are incredible and strong and brilliant ♥️— Chris Stark (@Chris_Stark) June 2, 2020
Clara Amfo is just one of our finest and smartest broadcasters. An absolute superstar. Here she speaks to the Radio 1 audience, with great honesty, power and truth, about the murder of George Floyd #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/dPyKt9FJmp— Richard Osman (@richardosman) June 2, 2020
@claraamfo using her @BBCR1 show to speak about #mentalhealth, racism in the UK and blackness in the wake of #GeorgeFloyd is exactly the content I needed today. Thank you so so much Clara. Thank you pic.twitter.com/Vt8ByuVqth— Abimbola Johnson (@BarristerAbi) June 2, 2020
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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