Reflections on Blackout Tuesday

I’m dropping the impersonal tone I generally employ in these blog posts on this occasion because this is a personal message from me, Hex. On June 2nd DNB Dojo took part in Blackout Tuesday, and I took time to reflect on the problem of racism, both inside and outside of the Drum & Bass scene. That reflection led me to the conclusion that I have not done enough. Angela Davis said it best when she said “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”

It should go without saying that Jungle and Drum & Bass is a music firmly rooted in Black culture. I’m not going to go into depth on that history here because so many better writers, filmmakers and podcasters have already covered it in immense detail. Rosemary Pitts has posted an extensive list of watching / reading / listening material on the History of Black British Rave Culture over here on Instagram (also available on Facebook here courtesy of EQ50) which I’ll be working my way through over the coming weeks and months. I can already thoroughly recommend Brian Belle-Fortune’s absolutely seminal All Crews as essential reading for the passionate junglist.

Beyond that reading, I’ve been thinking about what I can do both as an individual and as the owner of a platform, albeit a small one. To that end, here are the actions that I’ll be taking going forward:

  • Learn: There are a host of anti-racism resources available which I have not previously consumed enough of. 38 Degrees has a good list here.
  • Donate: I’ve already made personal donations to The George Floyd Memorial Fund, Black Lives Matter UK and Show Racism The Red Card, and I will continue to make contributions to these and similar organisations each month.
  • Educate: Luke Kessler is dedicating four weeks of Classic Track posts to the contributions of Black originators within D&B and Jungle, and the series will continue to ensure Black artists are properly represented as we celebrate the history of this music. You can read the first of that series here.
  • Represent: I will be doing more to find, highlight and celebrate the work of Black artists, DJs and label owners within our scene across all of our content; premieres, guest mixes, interviews, reviews and features.

I’d like to reiterate that this space is welcoming to Black people and indeed people of all backgrounds. I listen to all music that comes to the Dojo inbox, and while I can’t promise to feature everything I will always respond and try and provide honest feedback and creative criticism. If that’s something you’re interested in then please get in touch: info@dnbdojo.co.uk.

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