The latter half of the album is a statement of Ziggy’s cultural identity, his survival and the inheritance of his Aboriginal and Solomon Islander father: “We survived a genocide/We legendary”. Quite simply, history is a burden and to pretend you are not implicated in it is a luxury. 30 years after the abolition of slavery, an industrialised system of forced indentured labour brought thousands of South Sea Islanders to our shores to work the canefields, and among them was Ziggy’s paternal ancestor from Malaita. His Aboriginal great grandmother was stolen and grew up alienated from her Wik country. Culturally and artistically, Ziggy embodies the contradictions and the burden of Australian history.
“Why lie? White lies kill minds
Blacked out, white facts got you blind
It's time, it's time
For black truths to replace white lies.”
Black Thoughts – album and performance – has been a long time in gestation. It may have languished forever, unreleased, but it remains as potent, as vulnerable and as driven as the day it was written. In fact, the tide has turned so much in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd that the matters articulated in Black Thoughts can no longer be denied – the systemic racism and inherent anti-Blackness of our institutions has been laid bare, from Minneapolis to Melbourne. Galvanised, a rising tide of black voices echo in the emptied streets, so urgent that not even a global pandemic can silence them.