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'BLACK IS...' by Jennifer Akre, inspired by The Unforgotten

By youngviclondon 19 Oct 2020

'BLACK IS...' by Jennifer Akre, inspired by The Unforgotten



BLACK is transcending stories about BLACK that are NOT true.  BLACK encounters discrimination in the workplace and in healthcare.  BLACK craves to see MORE positive BLACK images.  BLACK collectively hopes that there are NO MORE Damilola Taylors and Stephen Lawrences.  BLACK voices are being ignored by gatekeepers.  BLACK voices continue to be REPEATEDLY shut down.  BLACK is NOT to B.*.M.E.  YOUNG and BLACK are being told that THEY are the problem…


BLACK is fed up of inequalities and restrictions of opportunities.  BLACK dreams and goals ARE achievable.  BLACK ideas and values have ELEVATED the culture.

BLACK is NOT just about gangs of unruly boys, hurling profane weaponry at police chasing cars and mopeds.  BLACK means racial profiling.  BLACK gets stopped because they are searching.  BLACK are youths being apprehended on trains and on buses.  BLACK gets arrested for knives concealed in local bushes.

BLACK is a DISTRACTION.  Talking BLACK is exhausting.  BLACK is NOT a criminal class.  BLACK is to be lived in to be believed.  

BLACK is passion but exhibits of emotion are misunderstood as aggression.  BLACK looks like it is about to cuss.

BLACK experiences a different reality.


BLACK is advanced.  BLACK is business savvy.  BLACK is street smart.  

BLACK does NOT just focus on what it means to be BLACK.  BLACK is life and BLACK has a life to enjoy too!.  Out of BLACK comes the rainbow…from Lucy…

BLACK has many SHADES…

BLACK knows that there is a system of intelligence that supports existence.  BLACK pledges its allegiances to faith because faith is a person.  BLACK knows that without faith there is no hope and assurance of a life after this one.

BLACK is knowledge because what you DON’T know is older than you.

BLACK are MASTERS of the daily everyday.

BLACK is gracefulness and story and from the struggle comes the crowning glory.

Written by Jennifer Akre in response to The Unforgotten, a free interactive art installation at the Young Vic which participates in and contributes to the ongoing conversation within the Black Lives Matter movement regarding whose image we uphold and elevate, offering our community an alternative view of leadership. To find out more visit