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Drumbeats of the Movement: Celebrating Black Futures Month In Song

Courtesy of Liberation School

Courtesy of Liberation School

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Black Futures Month, also known as Black History Month, grants us the opportunity every February to relish a little extra in our Blackness. During this twenty-eight-day-long party, we celebrate our lineage of resistance to white supremacy and imagine futures beyond the painful present. In this critical inquiry into our past and anticipation of our futures, we find the courage to be both magic and real, excellent and human in the present. A central part of Black Liberation Movements and Black Futures Month is honoring the Black musicians, artists, and poets throughout history who fought white supremacy and dared to proclaim that Black lives do indeed matter. As we reflect on the contributions of Amiri Baraka, Kanye West, Solange Knowles, Nina Simone, Audre Lorde and many others to Black culture, I offer a Black Futures Month playlist for your listening pleasure. 

 

1. “Fuck Tha Police” by N.W.A.

This emphatic anthem of resistance creatively imagines a clearly imaginary situation where Black people put the police on trial and win!

 

2. “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy

This could be alternatively named “Down with White Supremacy.”

 

3. “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown

What he said.

 

4. “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye

Every day 45 is president, this question becomes more and more poignant.

 

5. “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” by Nina Simone

I’m not down with that Talented Tenth ish, but this song is great!

 

6. “Who Will Survive in America” by Kanye West

Valid question, Yeezy. We are still waiting for George Bush to admit he doesn’t care about Black people.

 

7. “Formation” by Beyonce

C’mon ladies let’s get some reparations….and Beyoncé’s stylist!

 

8. “No Problem” by Chance The Rapper

Honestly, if Black Futures Month doesn’t involve Milly Rockin to “No Problem,” then I want no part.

 

9. “F.U.B.U.” by Solange

Black Futures Month is For Us By Us.

 

10. “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson

As evidenced by literally every institution in this country, we know this is true.

 

11. “Glory” by John Legend and Common

The glory is coming, and that glory is Black Liberation.

 

12. “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar

Through it all, we know and continue to believe that we indeed will be alright.

 

To follow Noelle Janak on Spotify, click here.

https://open.spotify.com/user/noellejanak

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Drumbeats of the Movement: Celebrating Black Futures Month In Song