Blk Boy is described by it’s creator as “a stylised depiction of the murders of Ahmaud Albery & George Floyd... The latter part of the visual shows varied representations of black boys/men showing that we are multifaceted.
The film is introduced with Mereba "Heatwave" whilst Jazz Brown jogs through a park: a sense of autonomy, freedom and cheer is being celebrated visually, but the soundtrack provides a cautionary warning.
“You better run, run, run like a demon chasing' you... 'til your face is blue...For your momma’s sake. Run, run”
This scene quickly becomes chaos and confusion as there is a culmination of pace through the running motion, the warning sounds of Mereba are overtaken by police sirens and the descent in good energy, literally, results in a crash.
As the music fades, we are left with a pulsating breath; it's so loud and pained that it feels as if it were your own. Breathing is personalised and collective in the Black experience as we ask for our liberation and safety in a world that seems to hate us. Blk Boy is paced in the exact same way that our emotions are when they become charged, going through hills and valleys, as a result of the racism that we face.
The images flicker between images of protests and Jazz Brown on the floor, which is then replaced with the sounds of Buddy championing Blackness and images reflective of the Black Panther Party, collectively signifying a moment of pure strength. The protagonist appears in a variety of “costumes”, representing the diversity and range of the Black male experience, even in times like these where our vision can become pinholed towards our trauma.
The dancing provides fluidity and calls us to calm; Jazz’s motions are literal chest opening exercises, giving us visual cues to pace ourselves. Dance and movement are used as higher forms of expression in life; here, there is a sense of joy. The continued direct gaze from Jazz is unavoidable: his abruptness is a reflection of us to our oppression. Us to our valuable lives.
In times like these, it can be difficult to continue to face the realities of our struggles, but the film ends with a visual memorial: we are directed to look directly at those who have lost their lives to police, racist, homophobic and transphobic brutality, both in the UK and the USA.
The importance of MLKs I Have A Dream speech, when most people do not know the full extent of that speech, reaffirms the truest message; that we must continue to open our eyes and use what we have to make a change and to take a stand.
by Kamara Scott