Clara Amfo praised for emotional discussion about George Floyd death on BBC Radio 1

‘People want our culture but they do not want us’

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 02 June 2020 12:28
'It just seems like you can do it so you did it' Trevor Noah on George Floyd death

Radio presenter Clara Amfo has been widely praised for discussing the emotional impact of the death of George Floyd on her mental health.

The DJ and presenter, who presents the mid-morning show on BBC Radio 1, returned to the airwaves on Tuesday morning (2 June), when she explained her reason for missing Monday’s show.

“At Radio 1, we talk a lot about mental health and mine was in a really, really bad way yesterday,” Amfo said. “In fact, it has been for the past few days in particular, in relation to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died whilst being held under arrest.

“I didn’t have the mental strength to face you guys yesterday, to ask, ‘Hi, how’s your weekend’ like I usually do with my happy intention, because I know that my weekend was terrible. I was sat on my sofa, crying, angry, confused and also stuck at the news of yet another brutalised black body.”

She continued: “Knowing how the world enjoys blackness and seeing what happened to George, we, black people, get the feeling that people want our culture but they do not want us. You want my talent but you don’t want me.

“There is a false idea that racism and in this case, anti-blackness is just name-calling and physical violence when it’s so much more insidious than that.”

Showing support for Radio 1’s black listeners, Amfo then encouraged everyone to tune in to BBC Radio's 1Xtra Talks on Tuesday evening, which will see Seani B and DJ Ace discuss the events surrounding Floyd’s death and the protests in the US.

The emotional segment prompted an outpouring of love and support on social media, with fellow DJ Annie Mac tweeting: “@claraamfo you beautiful woman you are so brave on @BBCR1 right now.”

This was echoed by Radio 1 presenter Chris Stark, who wrote: “That was one of the most incredible, powerful, moving bits of radio ever. @claraamfo You are incredible and strong and brilliant.”

DJ Arielle Free also tweeted: “@claraamfo is an incredible human being who showed the world today a superhuman strength and bravery whilst broadcasting on the radio. The most powerful broadcast I have ever heard and I am in complete awe and adoration of her in every way shape and form. So much love.”