In July School Of Beatbox founder, Danny Ladwa, was commissioned by charity Music For Change to submit a creative response that explores Black History and The Black Lives Matter Movement (#BLM). Danny felt immediately inspired by the project and began formulating his creative delivery.

He decided that the piece would be created using only the voice through vocal looping equipment. For this song he was compelled to dive firstly into the lyrics. A few months prior, he’d watched a fascinating documentary about the science of colour perception and learned that the colour that we perceive as ‘Black’ in fact absorbs every colour of the rainbow. The same kind of philosophy applies to the way we perceive all colours. The title of the piece had been decided (Black is a Rainbow) and it was then down to the content.

Danny thought about the prevalence of racism today and started to think about the root causes – ‘Why did people ever begin to be so narrow-minded based on the colour of ones skin?’. This question led Danny to research back through the years until the time of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

There were a lot of things learned in this period of research, some that Danny was already aware of. But even these distressing facts were refreshed and looked upon with newly awakened eyes.

The Hard Hitting Truths

A hard-hitting documentary film titled ‘13th‘ by director Ava DuVernay that Danny had watched a few years ago was also there in his mind.  Deeply disturbing truths about the apparent abolishment of slavery on December 18th 1865 and the US prison system were uncovered for the world to see. The 13th amendment in the new legislation stated “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Black codes were also brought into effect in order to limit the potential and further discriminate against and brutalise the black population in the US. One of these new black codes or ‘Black Laws’ meant that if a black person decided to change their employer, the new employer was not allowed to pay a higher salary than the previous employer. These kinds of laws were created to keep control of the black communities limiting their chances of wealth and success in life. These types of laws took the rights of freedom away from the black communities.

The song ‘Black is a Rainbow‘ is Danny’s expression about this important time in our history and something that he feels we should all understand and, essentially, be talking about.

 

‘BLACK IS A RAINBOW’ (LYRICS):

BLACK IS EVERYTHING BUT BLACK INFACT 

ITS A MATTER OF PERCEPTION WHATS REFLECTED BACK

BLACK ABSORBS ONLY PURE WHITE LIGHT WHICH IS A RAINBOW

BLACK IS A RAINBOW BLACK IS A RAINBOW

AND WHITE REFLECTS THE WHOLE RAINBOW BACK

NO COLOUR ABSORBED WHEN THE WHITE IS PURE

SO WHITE INFACT IS NOT WHITE AT ALL

 

LETS TAKE A WALK BACK IN TIME THRU HISTORY

CAST YOUR MIND BACKWARDS ABOUT 5 CENTURIES

SHIPS GOING TRANSATLANTIC FROM AFRICA

12 AND A HALF MILLION SLAVES TO THE AMERICAS

12 AND A HALF MILLION AFRICANS TO THE AMERICAS

12 AND A HALF MILLION PEOPLE TO THE AMERICAS

12 AND A HALF MILLION HUMANS TO THE AMERICAS

12 AND A HALF MILLION

 

AT THIS POINT THE TRADE HAD EXISTED FOR 5 MILLENNIA

WORLDWIDE ALL THE WAY BACK TO MESOPOTAMIA

NOW CHECK THIS 

THE REASON AFRICANS WERE TAKEN

WAS NOT COLOUR OR BLACK-NESS

THERE WERE OTHER FACTORS

THE FACT IS 

ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THEY TARGETED THIS AREA

WAS BECAUSE AFRICANS WERE MORE RESISTANT TO MALARIA

SO THEY WERE BROUGHT TO THE SOUTHERN STATES 

AND MADE UP 1 THIRD OF THE POPULATION

 

COLOUR WAS IRRELEVANT 

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

COLOUR BECAME EVERYTHING

COLOURS CENTRE OF THE RING

COLOUR WAS IRRELEVANT

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

COLOUR BECAME EVERYTHING

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

 

BLACK IS EVERYTHING BUT BLACK INFACT 

ITS A MATTER OF PERCEPTION WHATS REFLECTED BACK

BLACK ABSORBS ONLY PURE WHITE LIGHT WHICH IS A RAINBOW

BLACK IS A RAINBOW

 

NOW REGARDLESS OF THE FACTORS UNRELATED TO COLOUR

THE DEHUMANISATION AND BRUTALITY FOR THE

NEXT 400 YEARS SHOULD BE HARD TO SWALLOW

BUT WE SWALLOWED IT UP AND THE SUIT WE FOLLOWED

YOU SEE

NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FORCE

AND THE OPPRESSION STILL RUNNING ITS COURSE

SINCE THE 

13TH AMENDMENT WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO ABORT

THE DAYS OF SLAVERY BUT THEY WERE JUST PASSING THE TORCH

YOU SEE

IT WENT FROM ONE HAND INTO THE SUPREME COURT

FREEDOM NEVER CAME COZ THEY INTRODUCED BLACK LAWS

THE BLACK CODES SIMPLY TO SAY YOU CANT SUCCEED

LAWS THAT WOULD DICTATE HOW YOU COULD WORK ACHIEVE

JUST FEEL PEACE REST AT EASE OR JUST BE 

PLEASE THE KNEE IN MY NECK I CANT BREATHE SIR 

THE STRUGGLE IS ON 

BUT WHERE IS IT FROM

IT WAS NEVER ABOUT COLOUR BUT THATS WHAT ITS BECOME 

 

COLOUR WAS IRRELEVANT 

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

COLOUR BECAME EVERYTHING

COLOURS CENTRE OF THE RING

COLOUR WAS IRRELEVANT

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

COLOUR BECAME EVERYTHING

COLOUR WASN’T ANYTHING

 

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