Producer Danielle Tarento has brought together 150 Black actors from the UK and USA honour George Floyd.
Tarento (Songs And Solidarity – A Concert For Those Affected By The Grenfell Tower Fire) brought the actors together to perform ‘Make Them Hear You’ song from the musical Ragtime. The performance marks two months since the murder of George Floyd. It follows a performance of the same song by Pegasus Opera Company at the beginning of this month, which saw 26 Black opera singers brought together to perform as a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
So why ‘Make Them Hear You’? The song is particularly evocative in light of recent events as it is set in early 20th century America and follows African American musician Coalhouse Walker Jr.’s experiences of racial discrimination. ‘Make Them Hear You’ is his song of hope and inspiration before he surrenders to the police, who shoot and kill him.
The performance features Black British stars of musical theatre, such as Cavin Cornwall (Cats, Miss Saigon), Clive Rowe (Beauty and the Beast) and Layton Williams (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).
The video – just under 4 minutes in length – directs viewers towards a StopWatch fundraiser. The StopWatch campaign has been fighting the racist and disproportionate use of stop and search since 2010. Run by lawyers, activists and academics, the group works to promote effective, accountable and fair policing, inform the public about stop and search, develop and share research, organise awareness-raising events and forums and provide legal support challenging stop and search.
The singers were lead by Cavin Cornwall, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Emmanuel Kojo, James T Lane, Ako Mitchell, Cedric Neal, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Clarke Peters, Mykal Rand, Joe Aaron Reid, Clive Rowe, Ray Shell, Tosh Wanogho-Maud, Layton Williams and Gary Wilmot.
Find out more via Danielle Tarento’s YouTube page