Custom Search 1

'What our enslaved ancestors did for us'

LINK?: Dotun Adebayo if slavery had an effect on the abilities of black athletes

THE 200-METRE and 400-metre Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson's recent TV doc, 'Survival of The Fastest' backs the stereotype that black athletes run faster because they got their training in slavery times.

Well, I don't know about that, but I am a firm believer that all that training that ghetto boys get from fleeing from the forces of law and order gives us a natural advantage on the track.

You wouldn't deny that running all the way up Mount Kilimanjaro to fetch a pail of water and running all the way back down again, with it filled to the brim, has not made endurance champs out of our east African breddahs. So there's a lot to be said for putting in the hard graft.

On the Broadwater Farm streets that I grew up in, it meant that you could duck and dive and still outrun the long arm of the law if you had to. You weren't supposed to get caught, especially if you were a black yute. You couldn't come round the neighbourhood again to explain how some police officer actually caught you in a chase.

It was the same point that the late lamented Soledad Brother, George Jackson made in his published prison letters. In his experience black boys didn't just run fast, but because the police in the States have got guns and a habit of shooting black boys down, bruvvas had to run fast and in a zig-zag line.

But surely enslavement was too high a price to pay for this dubious benefit to our race.

As I have often said, our enslaved forefathers and foremothers left us a glorious inheritance. The food that kept them strong, the strength that kept them victorious and (if we accept Michael Johnson's thesis) the fleety-footed victory that left massa far behind. 

We are definitely blessed. And as we watch our great athletes running, jumping, throwing and punching, let's not forget the high price our fore parents paid for our inheritance.

 

Facebook Comments