Two days remain. Two days until the single most important election of our lifetime is held. Two days to represent the year 1963 and that the March on Washington will forever echo “I Have a Dream.” Two days to represent the year 1965 when President Lydon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act allowing Negroes to vote. Two days to represent the battle hymn “We Shall Overcome,” that was used during the Civil Rights Movement. It was music that Freedom Riders used to rally the troops with unending choruses that made the sit-ins more tolerable, and it was the melody that gave comfort to the soles of marchers.
The right for African American to be seen as equal, to have a voice through our vote, wasn’t just won in in the courtroom…but through our own uprising in protest and song.
Protest Song (noun):
A song associated with a movement for social change. It may be folk, classical or commercial in genre. Among social movements that have an associated body of songs are the abolition movement, women’s suffrage, the labor movement, civil rights, the anti-war movement, the feminist movement, animal rights movement, vegetarianism and veganism, and environmentalism.
The protest song of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” led to the battle hymn of “We Shall Overcome,” which gave way to Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted, and Black.” We fought the power with Public Enemy, that gave birth to Jay-Z’s Made in America Music Festival, held in Philadelphia where the constitution was constructed and signed. Biggie said it best: “You never thought hip-hop would take it this far.” After all, hip-hop has become the genre for modern-day protest songs; a creative combination of metaphors that tells the story of life. The same story that is at the core of the words that Spike Lee wrote for Laurence Fishburne’s character to yell at the end of the film School Daze…“Wake Up.”
It is here in the last two days of the election that we must wake up to realize what the President has done for Black America. Wake up to realize the untruth that the media, naysayers, and those too excited to have a microphone attached to their lapels speak about our President’s lack of concerns for our needs. Wake up to know that it is only bruised egos of certain professors and thought leaders that have led to harmful personal agendas against our President’s record in supporting Black Americans. Wake up to know what the President has done by clicking here for the facts.
Of course, there is more that needs to be done and more facts that need to be listed. But it is within the number of his position, as the 44th President of the United States of America, that we see why the math adds up for his second term. In order for the facts to keep being added, VOTE.
Mike Muse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.IamMikeMuse.com, and on Twitter @iammikemuse