Tonight I just finished watching Fire in Babylon. If you just watch the documentary for what it is, it's a great work on the rise and supremacy of West Indies cricket during the 1970s and 1980s. Even for a non-cricket fan, you would enjoy the music, the cinematography, and the West Indian players' stories.
Then if you're Black, it represents a whole lot more.
I didn't grow up during the 1970s and 1980s, and my Dad isn't around for me to ask him what kind of pride he must of felt as a Black person, a Barbadian, an English immigrant, and a former cricketer when the West Indies cricket team was the best in the world.
Not only were they the best at their sport, but they were the best at a White man's game. A White man's game that was the epitome of colonization and British (White) identity.
You can't draw parallels to it in the twenty-first century. You just can't.
Bolt? Blacks, West Indians, and Jamaicans have been dominating athletics and breaking records for decades before him.
LeBron? Ya, he's the best basketball player in the world, but that's expected of a Black person.
Gayle? For every Gayle there's a Watson or a Steyn.
Tiger? I don't see him speaking out against racial discrimination even when it's directed straight at him.
And furthermore, does any Black modern day sportsmen/women openly challenge the establishment, White domination, exploitation, social injustice, and racism on a global scale?
I mean if there's an underlying message to this film, it is to be the best and beat them at their own game. The only way you'll get their respect is if you come back stronger, harder, and better than who they are and what they throw at you.
Walk with a sense of pride, play within the rules, but change the game. Bowl bouncers. Hit batsmen. Be aggressive. Be better. Be proud and hold your head up high. Don't apologize.
Don't apologize if you are better than those that are trying to keep you down.
Don't apologize for your greatness and for your oppressor's insecurities or failures.
Win. And keep on winning.
Who you are and what you do in whatever field of play, whether it be in a sport or with a pen, is bigger than just you. You represent a history, a present, and a future.
Don't bow down to oppression. Learn how to play the game. Train hard. And perform.
Enjoy the documentary.