Michael Holding: Light bulbs shine light on painful Black experience

However, the day will mostly be remembered for what happened off the pitch, for a four-minute live monologue from Michael Holding, a former West Indian and now Sky Sports commentator, during one of the many delays of rain of the day.

“A flawless masterpiece in racing”

His passionate words forced viewers to pause and listen. The public may have connected to watch cricket, a sport closely linked to British colonialism; they got a lesson in history and institutional racism.

Holding, one of the game’s best bowlers, a member of the brilliant West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s, spoke of the lack of education on what black men and women accomplished, the depiction of Christ in as a white man, the video of a white woman calling the police on a black man watching birds in Central Park, and the unconscious bias among preschool teachers against black students.

The British newspaper The Guardian described the show as an “unshakeable masterpiece on race”. The Daily Telegraph wrote that Holding’s passionate plea was “the most beautiful spells the ground has seen”. The Holding monologue has had more than six million views on Twitter.

Sky Sports commentators Michael Holding, Nasser Hussain and Ian Ward broadcast during the first day of the first test.

“What people have to understand is that these things come from a long time ago, hundreds of years ago,” said the 66-year-old Jamaican.

“The dehumanization of the black race is where it started. People will tell you,” Oh, long ago, get over it. “No, you don’t overcome things like that.

“[…] Everyone knows that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Thomas Edison invented a light bulb with a paper filament; it burned down in no time. Can you tell me who invented the filament that makes these lights shine everywhere?

No one knows because he was a black man and it was not taught in schools. Lewis Howard Latimer invented the carbon filament to allow lights to shine continuously. Who knows that?

“Everything should be taught. I remember my school days; I have never been taught anything good about black people. And you cannot have a society that is raised like that, both white and black , which only teaches what is appropriate for the teacher.

“History is written by the winner, not by those who are conquered. History is written by people who do evil, not by people who are injured. And we have to go back and teach both sides of history and until we do that, and educate the whole human race, this thing will not stop. “

“I forced myself to watch”

Holding’s lyrics followed a recorded segment that featured Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play cricket for England, talking about their experiences of racism in the game.

Rainford-Brent then pointed out that there were no black members on the England and Wales Cricket Board, the governing body of the United Kingdom, and no black captain among the 18 counties that make up the first two levels of the pyramid English cricket.

The half-hour uncompromising broadcast was concluded by fellow commentator of Holding, Nasser Hussain, the former captain of the England team, born in India, considered one of the most astute cricket leaders in his country.

“People will listen and say, ‘Not yet,'” said Hussain. “All I am going to say to these people who say” not yet “, I sat six weeks ago and broadcast the news on Channel 4 and watched a black man get killed before my eyes , and my natural reaction was to look away.

“And the next time this footage was aired, because of the protests, I forced myself to watch because I felt something inside of me saying, ‘You’ve been looking elsewhere for too long’.”

Caribbean captain Jason Holder said that the words of Holding had an impact on him, telling reporters: “I saw the interview with Mikey and I felt in my veins.”

A tearful holding company told Mark Austin of Sky News on Thursday that he was thinking of his parents during his emotional call, revealing that his mother’s family had stopped talking to him “because her husband was too dark”.
Michael Holding photographed on June 16, 1976.

Holding’s fearsome bowling – after leaving his hand, the ball would hit the drummers in a blur – had earned him the nickname “Whispering Death”.

Formerly described as “perhaps the most beautiful athlete to play on cricket ground”, by retired journalist and former player Mike Selvey, Holding has always been a wonderfully eloquent commentator.

In the socio-cultural documentary “Fire in Babylon” on the golden age of Caribbean cricket, starting in 1975 and continuing in the early 1990s, Tenir speaks openly in a film of a generation of players who then crushed the established powers, excelling in a sport that was used as an instrument of colonialism by the English.

Over a period of 15 years, the West Indies, a team of 15 countries with a common history of slavery, racism and imperialism, many of which had achieved independence from the British in the 1960s and 1970s, have not lost a series of tests. It is still considered one of the best teams in history.

The film explains how the team’s dominance had political ramifications, inspiring Caribbean people around the world. “It was a revelation to come to England and see how much cricket meant to the West Indians living in England and how they used it to lift themselves,” The outfit said.

Viv Richards is greeted by fans after the first test of the West Indies tour of England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, United Kingdom, June 3, 1976.

It was during the tour in England in 1976 that this team from the Antilles really announced itself to the world. The England captain, Tony Greig, had irritated and offended, telling the BBC that he intended to “make them crawl”, a remark which had overtones of racism. Also important to the team, the words were spoken by a player born in South Africa during the apartheid era in the country of his birth.

“There were a lot of other things to defend, besides the cricket ball itself,” said Antiguan drummer Vivian Richards, another from that time considered an all-time great, in the film.

Although Holding said it recognized the political implications of the West Indian success later in life, this was not the case for all team members, Richards wearing a bracelet in the colors of the Rastafarian movement. “Green for the earth itself,” he says. “Gold for the wealth that has been taken away. Red for the blood shed.”

“Nothing can be changed until he is confronted”

If it was not already obvious after these past weeks, Sky Sports and Holding have highlighted how far society has yet to progress before there is equality for all.

Holding highlighted Black’s painful experiences, the oppression that still exists, as did British sprinter Bianca Williams this week.
British athlete Bianca Williams calls for

Williams accused the London Metropolitan Police of “racial profiling”. She was in a West London neighborhood with her partner, the 400-meter Portuguese record holder Ricardo dos Santos, and their three-month-old son when they were arrested by police last weekend.

Images of the incident, posted on social media by pair coach and Olympic gold medalist Linford Christie, appear to show two people – although their faces are not visible – taken from a car.

When a police officer asked him to get out of the car, a man is heard asking “For what?” Once out of the car, two other police officers approach the woman who says to them: “He did nothing”. The woman becomes more and more distressed and shouts: “My son is in the car […] I don’t want you to take care of him. “The officers tell him to” relax “and” get out of the car “.

Williams told CNN his top priority was the safety of his young son and stressed once again what parents of young black children should consider.

“We are raising a black boy who will then go to school alone and he will do things on his own. We will have to get used to him and teach him that … he can be arrested by the police because of the color of It’s just shocking that we have to tell our son to be honest, “Williams told CNN.

Williams received an apology from the Met on Wednesday for “distress caused” but the organization did not apologize for the traffic stop.

In the words of James Baldwin, who opened the exceptional cover of Sky Sports on Wednesday: “Everything that is confronted cannot be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is confronted.”


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