As a figure in the battle for blackheads, he is being threatened regularly. But Jerry Afriyie does not let himself be short. "I saw that people were waiting for me after a lecture I read somewhere Then you hear that they had been looking for me all afternoon.." He makes an exception for De Straten: Binnenskamers program and he spends an hour. Because Afriyie is basically not fond of TV interviews.
It has hung for several hours when she appears fifteen minutes late on the bridge at the entrance to Nelson Mandelapark at Zuidoost. "I am delayed, I have to take my daughter to the baby," he said, fifteen minutes earlier. The circumstances do not matter because the rain does not stop.
Do not preach to your own church
"I do not call myself an activist," Afriyie says under an umbrella. "Someone has to do it." He talks about the threats openly and almost as he has become the most common things in the world for him. "The funny thing is that most people are waiting for me to join the provocation, but I agree with dialogue. The best example is when I had to talk to Groningen at the meeting and a number of neo-Nazis came there. The organization asked me if I wanted them to be deleted. But as long as they behaved quietly, I did not mind, I would rather talk to them than I preach to my own church, they listened, and even before the end they left quiet. "
When his first known anti-black Piet protested with Quinsy Gario's "Zwarte Piet's Racisme" shirt in the rural Sinterklaas in Dordrecht, Afriyie took over more leadership during the demonstrations. Between 2014 and 2016, he was severely arrested during the Gouda and Rotterdam admission talks. The first case finally paid him his job and authority as a security authority, despite being released on charges of an assault on an agent.
Jerry Afriyie at Nelson Mandelapark
"I am now in my life, mainly my lectures, presentations of my poems. From time to time direct people to projects. But I do not need a lot, I'm not materialistic. That's what I thought, is that if you are in any way opposed, the universe will help you. Because I had them moments I did not know what to do, I have two children to maintain, but suddenly something beautiful happened, I'm not a believer, but I can not explain it either.
In recent years, activism has not been paid to Afriyie for his work. Some friends and relatives turned her back. He calls that occupation risk. One is angry at his approach and left him with anxiety, one afraid of Afriyies's most elusive perspective.
"I knew in advance what I got. I believe that we will lose a lot more if we do not do any of these problems. I think people do not understand what you are trying to reach each other, the next generation, or who will be grateful after we endured yet today. I'm responsible for the next generation . "
With soaked shoes, Afriyie comes to the Bijlmerpark theater's grand lobby. "You do not have everything here." He himself stood in the theater a few times during lectures, because poetry is what he wants to do. "First, I am a poet. I really do not want to do this, this job. I do not deserve anything, but I have to. We have a goal in mind. And as long as people are injured against children's feast, I'm sure of it."
The last two Amsterdam competitions with Zwarte Pieten
The "tone" of conversation
The biggest complaint against the anti-black pearl movement is their tone of message. The frequently used slogan "Black Pete is Racism" is perceived by many opponents as powerful but also neutral spectators. Afriyie can not make much of this claim. "We have to look at the mirror once, and even if it feels uncomfortable and difficult, we have to look at the mirror once and for all we have to look at the mirror once and even if it seems uncomfortable and difficult , we must listen to each other again. people have fought Black Petea 100 years, and the only thing of which I have become wiser, is that people are always looking for reasons not to change. we are forcing people to think this through our approach. "
Afriyie presents a poem at Bijlmerpark Theater
In addition to the sacrifices, all the demonstrations, lectures, workshops and lessons on institutional racism, exclusion from the labor market and ethnic profiling also provide something. In Amsterdam this year there are only two local labels, using black pearl. This is clearly visible on the map at Saint- and Piet Guild. "If I did it alone, I was so ready, then just the two of them." When the map is zoomed in, a completely different picture appears. There are hundreds of black pigeons throughout the country. "I just see pro-demonstrations, not celebrations, people should know better now."
The Foundation's "Nederland wordt beter" website says that the goal of the organization is to raise itself in 2025. Then some clear goals have to be achieved. According to Afriyien, the goal is that every foundation should have. "In 2025, you probably have people who want to celebrate a party with Zwarte Pieten, but what people do in their own home, they have to know themselves, just knowing that when a kid is at school or when I walk to a mall I do not want to face a race-related caricature. And we do not forget: we're not just black, but white people are also helping us and are on our side. "
See the Streets section here: Interviews with Jerry Afriyes: