‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced, with courage, need not be lived again’
On the Pulse of Morning is both a document of and call to action for Black Trans Lives. Made for Pride 2020 and released during U.K Black Pride, Carson McColl, Gareth Pugh and Sakeema Peng Crook's film features an interview with the London-based Black trans dancer, artist and activist Crook. They encourage the LGTBQIA+ community to recognise Black voices in the history of Pride, in particular that of Black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson.
The film becomes a call to action as the camera races through the empty streets of London at dawn, just hours earlier filled with Black Lives Matter protestors. London is a paradox, Pugh explains, it is'..at once a city emblematic of Colonialism and Empire, of power and of privilege, but it's also our home and where we live and work.' As Maya Angelou's 1993 poem 'On the Pulse of Morning' rings out, a collective determination for a brighter future built from the failings of the past speaks out.
'We need to talk about white supremacy, and why - despite the fact that our movement was founded by Black and Latin trans women - QTPOC voices within mainstream gay culture are still subject to erasure. We need to talk about the epidemic of violence facing trans people, in particular trans women of colour, and how that in itself is another branch of white supremacy. You only have to look at what happened to Iyanna Dior to appreciate the complexities of the systems of oppression facing Black trans women today. It's so important that we find ways to illustrate the fact that gender binary is a Colonial concept, and as such, is another monument to white supremacy that needs to be toppled.' Carson McColl