Sometimes you just know something’s wrong but need to know through which channel to get it sorted. To do anything on Facebook invites aggressive behaviour and a besmirching of your sensitive being. Twitter is useless unless you have allies ready to brunt the storm with you by being spiteful in a rationed verbal spate. You can gamble and be optimistic that your observation posted as a status update on Facebook is merely a helpful way of introducing another viewpoint for consideration. You can elevate yourself and think that people will reciprocate your generous warmth and giving nature. Like the time I simply put forward a possibility that Warner of Warner Estates in E17 was a rich businessman with his wealth originating from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Currently it’s okay and topical to ask questions about the wealth of British slave-owners because of the BBC 2’s current airing of the University of London’s research into the ancient British architecture and how such flamboyant wealth was collected and then inherited by whom. The two programmes fired up people’s emotions. One tweet on Twitter was a rude suggestion that all white people should be watching the programme. Maybe all people should have watched the programme. It’s BBC2. Fat chance.
By the by, curators at Hackney Museum did some evening sessions to launch Hall et al’s university research into the houses of Hackney, bringing home how wealthy Hackney was and how the slave trade money was the foundation for the massive houses on every street corner. Even Jill Public was invited to comment on the texts and she did. Hackney Museum is always ahead.
School and therefore government syllabi come under fire always during hidden history episodes yet much of our heritage learning must come through family stories and parental knowledge, surely. We cannot continue to blames teachers for what we don’t know when we can actually learn pro-actively from other sources. That of course is a whole blog site on another day.
My Facebook question produced interesting results and a bit of paternal advice. The latter was the stuff that encourages lengthy Facebook essays which go nowhere. There is no point engaging unless you prefer the life of a troubled soul. Anyway all in all old Warner, the housing magnate, was indeed the beneficiary during his lifetime of his wife’s wealth through her family’s business in slavery. Remember, in those days, what’s hers is his.
An art event was advertised on Facebook but not on the promotional material as being for black women and girls only. I emphasise an “art event”, not a meeting together of abused women wanting a safe haven, not a coming together of women exploring their skin, and not a union meeting for black and ethnic members. Like others, I was disturbed because this is UK 2015 and more than that Hackney 2015. We’ve moved on publicly from alienating swathes of people in the community. If we’re functioning in a community centre then the rule is that the doors are open to all in that community. I’ve seen project administrators under Council permission advertising their projects as targeting certain ethnic groups in the public domain. There is no way on Hackney’s earth that the project organisers can turn away the non-targeted people from the event or workshop let alone police at the entry door.
In practice, everyone is welcome if not to just make up the numbers and gain Brownie points by evaluating shared experiences on the Lottery Heritage Funding or any funder’s criteria tick sheet.
Someone else complained about the wording for the art exhibition with their moral stance and a heap of people experienced in wordly matters as their back-up. The Facebook status was changed. No-one approached the actual organisers only the venue management. It turned out that the management were ignorant of what was happening in Cyberspace. Rather than feeling that she may be hated by a few, the big mouth felt that inexperienced and enthusiastic event-makers and non-vigilant venue managers would be aware of their domain and efficient in their wording next time in order not to offend anyone.
I myself get all the arguments about the whys and the wherefores of finding spaces for those someone else labelled at the time as marginalised groups but heard it all before in 1980. There are wrong and right ways, remember, held up by the laws of the land.
On another platform, art in the community is for all. Discuss.