Do Black Lives Still Matter?

Grime pioneer Saskilla asks ‘Do Black Lives Still Matter?’ in new BBC docu-series

In Grime, Other by Vicky Thompson

One year on from the tragic news of George Floyd’s racially fuelled death, politically engaged broadcaster and grime artist, Saskilla, explores the impacts of the Black Lives Matter movement with three-part BBC series ‘Do Black Lives Still Matter?’ George Floyd’s death caused a surge of anti-racism activism, and pushed for change globally, sparking thousands of protests despite the global pandemic, to push for authentic, sincere and systematic change.

BLM

Saskilla explores areas where black representation may have been affected at a boardroom level within brands, football and music. Many of these areas may be misconstrued by how much black representation they show on the surface, whilst the reflection of it behind the scenes tells a very different and dire story.

This series looks at the lack of black representation and opportunity for black and ethnic minorities in senior roles, despite society appearing to have a diverse representation on the surface. He makes a great effort to blur the lines that the current population are mis sold to believe. 

Saskilla is a largely relevant and representative voice for exploring these issues in the series because not only is he a politically engaged individual, he is also a prominent black artist in grime, which is hugely well known for telling stories and painting pictures of inequality and discrimination in a number of forms, from a level that represents the average under appreciated individual.

saskilla

Some of the key issues that arise during this 3 part series are involved with the lack of black female representation in sports, the genre pigeon-holing of black artists into particular musical genres such as R&B and pop, and the underlying marketing tool for branding opportunities with Black Lives Matter, in order to heighten consumer interest across social media and marketing. 

Saskilla’s efforts lie within the idea of exploring how far Black Lives Matter has been extended to the current day we live in one year on from George Floyd’s death. He pushes to find out whether this is something that is truly being followed through as sincerely as it had done last summer. 

Stream the series via BBC iPlayer

Here’s a run down of what you can expect in each episode:

EP 1 – Brands: Following the death of George Floyd and the surge in the Black Lives Matter movement, big brands made pledges to address diversity and racial inequalities across their businesses. Grime artist Saskilla speaks to black influencers on being ‘flavour of the month’ for some brands. He speaks to insiders from a number of companies including household brands, and looks at social media accounts before, during and after the BLM protests.

EP 2 – Football: In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, footballers across the nation took the knee and the governing body of English football, The Football Association, made a pledge on diversity and inclusion. Despite these actions, little appears to have changed in the world of football so far, with representation in the women’s game appearing to be falling back over the years. Grime artist Saskilla speaks to Premier League footballers, coaches and managers across the UK for answers, and asks, is there a lost generation of black talent in the sport?

EP 3 – Music: The music industry reacted with a surge of outrage to the death of George Floyd. Artists and labels alike posted black squares on social media, standing in solidarity with people of colour. Following #BlackoutTuesday, a social media campaign led by two black music executives, grime artist Saskilla asks what have music powerhouses done in the year that has followed, and have significant changes been made in the world of music?