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Due to the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in America this past week, worldwide debates surrounding the controversial issues of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and police brutality have re-sparked major media attention. Though artists Jay Z, Ariana Grande and My Morning Jacket have released new music in support of the #BlackLivesMatter cause, we’re spotlighting tracks from the past that address the issues today’s Black community is still dealing with. Violence against people of colour is nothing new. Slavery, racism and stereotypes have resulted in an oppression of Black individuals that dates back centuries. What is new is the Internet and the complementing technology that allows this violence to reach the eyes and ears of millions.
Get woke and take some time to listen to our compilation of songs that highlight issues raised by the #BlackLivesMatter cause.
Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” was released in 1989 as a request from director Spike Lee for his groundbreaking film, Do the Right Thing. Heavily drawing on African-American culture, “Fight the Power” calls out racism and encourages the Black community to stand up for their rights.
Released in 2015, “The Blacker the Berry” was Kendrick Lamar’s second single from To Pimp A Butterfly. The song is racially charged and calls out the dangers of hypocrisy. Lamar specifically calls our the hypocrisy of Black men mourning the death of their friends at the hands of others while they themselves commit violent crimes.
Released in 1996, Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” is known to be one of the most controversial songs of the late artist’s career. MJ calls for people of power to stop ignoring human rights.
Produced by Kanye West, Common’s “Forever Begins” speaks on civil war and his accomplishments as an American Black man.