Today, the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) has combined forces with social impact coalition the #breathewithme Revolution, joined by a roster of award-winning music artists in support of a call on the Biden-Harris Administration to launch a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) during the first 100 days of the new Administration.
The organizations and artists have all come together in support of a call for real and tangible racial justice action through a new campaign video, “17 More Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black In America,” which premieres today exclusively via NowThis. Check out the clip HERE.
In the ”17 More Ways” video, artists bring attention to the 17 ways Black lives have been taken too soon due to racism over the past four years: Jordan Edwards (“Leaving a party,” by Khalid), Dominique Clayton (“Sleeping in your home,” by Asian Doll), Jeremy McDole (“Sitting in a wheelchair,” by Summer Walker), Ronnell Foster (“Riding your bike,” by Ty Dolla $ign), Walter Wallace Jr. (“Suffering from mental illness,” by 070 Shake), Javier Ambler (“Failing to dim your headlights,” by A$AP Ferg), Daniel Prude (“Suffering from mental illness,” by Vic Mensa), Elijah McClain (“Walking down the street,” by Mary J. Blige), Botham Jean (“Relaxing at home,” by Offset), Atatiana Jefferson (“At your window,” by Keke Palmer), Stephon Clark (“Standing in your grandmother’s backyard,” by Quavo), Ahmaud Arbery (“Jogging,” by Indy 03), Rayshard Brooks (“Sleeping in your car,” by Jay Balency), Terece Crutcher (“Standing by your car,” by Tiny), Caine Rogers (“Driving your car,” by T.I.), George Floyd (“Accused of using a fake 20,” by Rapsody) and Breonna Taylor (“Sleeping in your bed,” by Alicia Keys).
“17 More Ways” is a follow-up piece to “23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America,” produced in 2016 by Alicia Keys and Leigh Blake for Mic.com, featuring appearances by Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Rock, Taraji P. Henson and more than a dozen others. “17 More Ways’ is also a companion piece to a December #breathewithme Revolution NowThis “Resolution” video featuring artists and activists like Billie Eilish, Sasha Lane, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Van Jones, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Dr. Harry Grammer and joining Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) to read language from Congresswoman Lee’s proposed bill for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Check out the “Resolution” clip HERE.
Alicia Keys, 15 time GRAMMY winning artist, author and activist, says: “I can’t believe that just four and a half years after we released ’23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America,’ we’re here to share ‘17 More Ways’ Black lives have been lost to racism. 2020 will never be forgotten as a year of awakening for many. More than 1,000 people were killed by police violence, with Black people accounting for a disproportionate amount of those deaths. We all see it with our own eyes! While we warmly welcome the Biden-Harris administration to the White House this week, let’s hold them accountable to offering actionable, systemic solutions to protecting and empowering Black Lives. On the day of ‘The Dream,’ let us not become complacent. Let’s stand up to ensure we see real change in the first 100 days of our new administration by joining the #breathewithme Revolution.”
Leigh Blake, Co-Founder of the #breathewithme Revolution and a longtime activist/filmmaker who has been using culture for social change for decades, states: “The day after George Floyd’s murder my dear friend and co-founder Sia Lyimo called me at home in Los Angeles from London crying. She said for the first time her white friends were asking her what they could do and she said, ‘Breathe With Me. Because if you are not breathing with me you are contributing to my demise.’ I said, ‘That’s it Sia. Let’s build a movement.’ Ann Haggart and I from Fame Currency moved quickly to create the #breathewithme Revolution because the days of lip service are over. We call on everyone who said they cared to take real racial justice action and end the days where we speak with high ideals and fail Black America on every level.”
Prophet, Co-Founder of #breathewithme Revolution and Co-Founder/Co-Chair of BMAC, adds: “On January 6, the world watched racism, white supremacy, anarchy, domestic terrorism and anti-Semitism, tsunami the Capital in the most vile manner in modern times. Although the events were horrific, they’re indicative of the foundation of this nation. This same energy is what fostered chattel slavery, Jim Crow, the Prison Industrial Complex, the murders of Emmett Till, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others. If we are serious about healing this Nation, this country must have a Truth Commission to root out and repair the deep racial divide in this country. We are urging the Biden/Harris administration to support Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Cory Booker’s call for a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Commission in their first 100 days. We owe it to our ancestors to push this country to live up to its promise.”
To further amplify the movement for racial justice, #breathewithme Revolution team convened by Dr. Paul Zeitz has signed on more than 228 organizations through a national coalition in support of Congresswoman Lee’s U.S. Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Commission. Participating organizations include the NAACP, UCLA and Howard University, among many others, bringing together artists, activists, journalists, educators, cultural icons, social and racial justice organizations and movement leaders in an unprecedented national movement. Check out the full list of participating organizations HERE.
The #breathewithme Revolution supports work that will document 400+ years of truth for the ultimate goal of implementing lasting and transformative local, regional and national policies dismantling the systemic racism that has continually interfered with and injured Black lives, Black communities, Black entrepreneurial endeavors, and Black businesses. A key component of this national legislative effort is that the TRHT Commission will concurrently establish a national Archive of Racial and Cultural Healing (ARCH®️). The ARCH is a transformative initiative aimed to establish a sustainable national educational resource to understand, teach, and study America’s 400+ year history of racial injustice and Black ingenuity. Multi-sited and digitized, ARCHs will be composed of Black cultural artifacts, oral and family histories, commissioned exhibits, music, and records, designed to create and maintain an accurate national history of 400+ years of racial injustice and inform transformative policies into the future.
Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter, UCLA professor, #breathewithme Revolution’s Transformation Architect and coiner of #BlackLivesMatter explains: “Black people are still suffering from the effects of Slavery. No human deserves to live within and under such a brutal regime of inhumanity. Black people along with their indigenous and Native American counterparts have, however, earned relief, repair, and a refund from the global, federal, regional, and local governments that have failed them, all the while taking tax money and creativity from them for centuries. A U.S. TRHT Commission is the key to unlocking the nation’s truths whereby we begin living in a country healed, restored and transformed guided by principles of love rather than hate, and by our shared humanity rather than false, dangerous ideas of human hierarchy.”
Supporters can help advance the movement by making tax deductible donations to the #breathewithme Revolution HERE.
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