This is my first post. As I write, I am listening Labi Siffre’s So Strong. This song was written and released by Labi in 1987. I wasn’t born at the time, and I acannot remember at which point I actually first heard it. 28 years after its release, the lyrics still apply to everyday situations globally.
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it, though you’re doing me wrong so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
As a black (or brown) woman in today’s world, I am tempted to dwell on the opression naturally bestowed on me because of my skin colour or my gender. However, deep down, I know there are more people out there that are experiencing 10fold any opression I have ever faced, and yet they do not have an ounce of the voice I have found within myself to speak against any such adversity.
Labi Siffre wrote this song after watching a documentary where he saw white soldiers shooting at black civilians in South Africa during Apartheid. He lived in the UK when he wrote this song and even though he had his personal battles, he wrote it for the black people suffering in South Africa.
All around me I see people whose eyes speak of immense sadness, whose scars radiate immense suffering, and whose words carry deep truths that are otherwise uncomfortable and “too much to bear” for the sensitive listener. These people are everywhere. My heart wants to help, my lips want to utter words of hope, my arms want to hold them close, as if to say, “Everything will be alright”, but I usually find myself only thinking these things, as my “target” walks by having to face their woes on their own.
I often wonder, why isn’t the world a bettet place to live? Why don’t we all love one another and fend for each other? Why are we always racing against each other to the finish line? I hear phrases like ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘ one man for himself’. Is this a happier way to exist? Is this option better than being mindful of our brothers and sisters that are less privileged?
I am able to acknowledge that there is something inside of me that is so strong, and I know that I can make it no matter who is doing me any wrong. So I decide to speak or those who don’t know. To work for those who have lived their lives believing otherwise. To help rebuild the lives of those whose hearts have been shattered.
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