In Loving Memory of George Floyd, “I Can’t Breathe”
When you first listened to H.E.R.’s (Having Everything Revealed) hit single, I Can’t Breathe what did you think? What did you feel? If you haven’t heard it then you need to find it in this blog post and listen to it. In regards to H.E.R.’s words, this record deserves recognition because it draws awareness to social justice issues in American society. Her words are the cries of the people in the wake of a brighter day. Social injustice is also happening in other parts of the world too. It’s not just where I live. However, the song is referring to the injustice of George Floyd that happened here in the U.S.
It’s fair to have respect for the man who died, but I believe the fight is deeper than just one black man’s life. There have been several unjust killings since the beginning of African American existence. The black experience has everything to do with trying to survive.
Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about this song until the 2021 Grammy’s on CBS. The record won Song of the Year after being nominated by the NAACP Image Award for outstanding Soul/R&B. The single dropped with a timely release in 2020, after the springtime chaos in the wind of COVID-19. Another time in our history where we, the people, had to protest for the lives of minorities.
“I Can’t Breathe!” You’re taking my life from me. “I Can’t Breathe!” Will anyone fight for me?
H.E.R. speaks words as a poem, rather than just singing them.
Trying times all the time
Destruction of minds, bodies and human rights
Stripped of bloodlines
Whipped and confined
This is the American pride
It’s justifying a genocide
Romanticizing the theft and bloodshed that made America the land of the free.
Those are only half of H.E.R.’s words. I think she’s a lyrical genius for speaking out, particularly on this black man as a black woman. It proves we do love each other as a community.
I write about this record because it has meaning in the light of the struggle. If you read my work, then you know I love to write and I’m inspired by the work of other artists. Writing is a skill. I encourage people to write as an expression of one’s self. Even if the writing is music, it’s still having an intimate relationship with words. They are powerful.
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