Black History Month Time Capsule 2: Kano – question authority and fight for positive social change
Date posted: 27 October 2021
To mark Black History Month some of our lawyers have written letters to future lawyers spotlighting the work of one of their inspirations from the black legal or activist community. The letters will be put into a Time Capsule and buried in our garden for future generations of Wilson’s lawyers to dig up and read one day
Here is the second from our Giulietta Grassi a Trainee Solicitor in our Immigration Team.
Dear Future Lawyers,
As I write this I am listening to Kano’s album ‘Hoodies All Summer’; Kano is a black British rapper and one of the pioneers of Grime music. He has always inspired me in the way he is able to create amazing music which also acts as social commentary. His music not only tells a story but also comments on social justice issues and celebrating community.
As future lawyers I think we can learn so much from Kano’s music. Some of the things he comments on in his music are police brutality, gentrification, questioning those in positions of power and challenging racial profiling. I believe he demonstrates the qualities that we as lawyers need; to be able to question authority and fight for positive social change. Kano’s storytelling and ability to put himself in the shoes of others encourages compassion. As lawyers we need more than ever to listen to the people we represent and provide empathy in return, and Kano’s music promotes this.
Alongside his activism in his music, during the COVID-19 pandemic Kano set up ‘Newham talks’ a fundraiser to raise money for those affected by COVID-19 in the London borough of Newham, which was disproportionately affected by the pandemic. He interviewed famous Newham locals and focussed on the importance of community during difficult times. Kano is a great example of how we can create social change both inside and outside of our work. I think this is helpful for us as lawyers to see, as we can bring our work fighting against social injustice into our everyday lives too.
As a British rapper commenting on the country’s social and political climate Kano encourages us to be critical, compassionate and to challenge social inequality. Kano’s album should be the soundtrack for every lawyer – so I hope you feel inspired by his music too, and hopefully he’s added onto your next playlist!