Tayo Aluko is a writer, singer, actor and producer based in Liverpool. His second full-length play, JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER was premiered in August 2016 and has already been performed in five countries.
Not so long ago, “Taking the Knee” had more or less died out as a gesture, and was regarded by some as a show of disrespect to the American flag. Colin Kaepernick, who started it in 2016, was fired by his club and hasn’t played professionally since.
This mirrored the sacrifices made by many brave people who went before him. They include Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who in 1968 gave the “Black Power” salute on the podium at the Mexico Olympics, to shine a light on the brutality of their homeland, and the suffering of their kin in Africa and elsewhere. Like the Australian who protested with them that day, their careers also ended with their protest, but over fifty years later, we see their legacy in the combined kneel-and-raised-fist gesture now done by people of all races around the world today.
The legacies of other people, some of whom lost their lives in the struggle against white supremacy: Toussaint L’Ouverture (Haiti), Frederick Hampton (USA), Amilcar Cabral (Guinea Bissau) and others who didn’t, like Paul Robeson who used music as his own weapon of protest, are celebrated in Just An Ordinary Lawyer May we find more people like them to continue to inspire us in today’s struggle for positive change.
Find out more about Tayo Aluko who is currently working on a third full length play, COLERIDGE-TAYLOR OF FREETOWN, inspired by the life and music of the Black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and his Sierra Leonean history.