Regular news keeps happening, but much of the music community is still grappling with last night’s grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who earlier this year shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. As previously reported, Killer Mike alluded to Martin Luther King Jr. in a powerful speech delivered before Run the Jewels‘ show in nearby St. Louis. Q-Tip led protests in New York last night, as you can see in a video below; meanwhile, this morning, Solange and Adia Victoria have each shared stirring, contemplative responses to the outcome in Ferguson.
“Today I feel a sense of brokenness on behalf of my people,” Solange wrote alongside an image of a broken face. “We are not Michael Brown’s family, but we are Michael Brown’s family. We don’t hurt like they do, but we do hurt. Hurt like hell. Thing about my people though… we don’t stay broken. We get up. We put the pieces together when there aren’t even pieces to pick up. And we will… again and again and again.” See the whole post below.
Nashville-based Victoria (see Adia Victoria’s Angry, Thrilling Southern Blues) responded with a poem. “I have no words to speak after the huge abortion of justice on display in #ferguson,” she posted. “I wrote about it instead.” She added, “Also, for those just discovering me — I speak my mind as an artist. If this bothers you — GOOD.” Her poem is titled “Nothing New OR Things I Learned About Black Lives In 2014,” and you can read it, too, below.
I screen shot this image months ago. Artist unknown. It moved me for many reasons. One being ….brokenness. Today I feel a sense of brokenness on behalf of my people. Black people. Everyone expresses differently. I respect all forms and shapes of expression. I respect those who don’t see this as a matter of black and white, who think “unity and peace” will save us all from this, who’s optimism in the heart of the gut wrench still seems to have a place…Although I feel differently, I respect it all. We were not molded here, to all be molded the same……My words are like aimless shapes and figures at this time. Trying to find a place to go, something to hold on to, to make “sense” of this all. But the one thing that’s been concrete in my heart is my will to want to express something to my friends. To the people I love, who love me, who feel pain in this moment just as I do, but who do not feel pain in the way that I often do in many walks of life. Who might feel I talk about race too much, that it’s consumed me, who I’ve distanced myself from….because it’s true, I can’t a joke. When I told a friend of mine I was making an album about race, his response was….”Just make it fun”. I would like him to think about it now. We are not Michael Browns family, but we are Michael Browns family. We don’t hurt like they do, but we do hurt. Hurt like hell. Thing about my people though….we don’t stay broken. We get up. We put the pieces together when there aren’t even pieces to pick up…….and we will……again and again and again.