Date: January 21, 2017
Location: New York/Manhattan
Text by Lindsey Wilson
As I sit on the train, returning from a weekend of music and activism for a better World, I am prompted with a flashback of the Women’s March just more than a week ago where more than a million women strong joined together to rattle their sabers and bring about consciousness to those less informed. But, perhaps the word “flashback” is the wrong word to use because I do not consider my experience of the march to be a “flashback” moment. It’s so much more.
As I walked with my friends, amongst a sea of humanity, my inner voice of Truth asked me, ever so gently, why are you, marching? Most of us want to believe that we march for justice, peace, and equality. While this is true, I believe that we also march simply to feel good. That was my answer while I smiled and sometimes laughed out loud, reading clever, witty signs about the failing Trump administration. Yes, political marches, if you’re not afraid of crowds, can be one big party, a happy contagion with percussive chants, catchy poster signs, and passionate pleas for freedom proudly permeating the air with solidarity! But, wait. Is that enough?
No, it is not, but I could say it is, IF music were to be used as a tool for change and not just as a form of entertainment. Clearly, at the present moment, music has the opportunity of represent a catalyst for change that actually benefits our communities. Music is our oasis for information and our sanctuary for rejuvenation. So, the new question becomes, what happens after the march and we all go home? As an artist, when I go home, the marching still goes on. I write and sing songs for liberation, or about my experience as a human being from day to day on this Earth. It is my duty to do so.
I think activist/songwriter/musician Nina Simone said it best, “It’s the Artist’s duty to reflect the times.”
Music’s role can now be used to generate an urgent need for action where there is no fear. No violence. Simply pure songs from the heart used to express your Art. Artists and Musicians, we now have a chance to share our music with those who stand on the front lines. Our purpose just got broader as we commit to creating music about the times and NOT just about having a good time. Sing outward for your communities so that we may provide the instructions for building and binding in solidarity. These are the new marching orders!