Black musicians make statements for tolerance

Black History Month is a month dedicated to the many African Americans in the past who made big impacts on history. They were people who created change and fought for their rights and what they believed in. We have a month for them to commemorate all those important people for standing up and doing something instead of sitting in silence. 

Many people in the past used their voices to speak up, but today, we use a new way to use our voices: through music. Artists who have something to say and want people to hear it, use their music to send their message or state their thoughts or feelings towards a certain topic. The artists in this selection of songs are black artists who used their music as their way of letting their voices be heard. They are fighting for things such as equality, peace and for everyone to love not only each other, but themselves as well.

“I Know Where I’ve Been” by Queen Latifah

Featured in the readaptation of the 1988 version of “Hairspray,” “I Know Where I’ve Been” appears in the movie “Hairspray” from 2007. The song is based on the part of the movie when the black community is marching for integration on the “Corny Collins Show.” The song holds a lot of power and voice for the equality they are fighting for. Queen Latifah also adds a nice touch to the quality of the song.

Freedom” by Beyonce (featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Beyonce performed her song “Freedom” from her most recent album, “Lemonade” at the 2016 BET awards as a political statement and protest anthem. Before her performance, she opened with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most important people in history. The song is about the freedom that they continue to fight for, and that nothing and no one can hold them back from because everyone deserves equality.

“Black or White” by Michael Jackson

The tune that was released by the King of Pop in 1991 still lives on as a song that hits home and sends out a message that is still relevant today. “Black or White” is a song for human rights and racial harmony. It features experiences and observations from Jackson himself on racism, and also reminds us that we are all equal.

“Where is the Love?” by Black Eyed Peas

This upbeat song sends a powerful message for positivity. It encourages love between people of all ages, genders, races and religions. It asks the question, “Where is the love?” because throughout the years from when it was released to present day, it seems like love is nonexistent. With the help of this song, we are all reminded to find love in one another and treat others equally and with compassion.

“i” by Kendrick Lamar

This song contains a lot of topics, considering the police malevolence, religious imagery and empowerment. Despite these serious topics featured in it, the song focuses more on positivity. Kendrick Lamar speaks as a person that has experienced racism in his lyrics, and he stated before that the song was written for inmates and suicidal teens. The song consists of verses that display feel-good vibes and encourages others to love themselves.

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