Category: #BLM

Soultaker73 – Freedom Time

By , June 22, 2020 11:16 am


DJ Soultaker73 – Freedom Time
1. Freedom Time – Linda Tillery – Olivia Records
2. Five On The Black Hand Side – Keisa Brown – United Artists
3. Beautiful Brother Of Mine – Curtis Mayfield – Curtom
4. Stand Up And Be Counted – The Flames – People
5. Rise Up – The Freedom Affair – Colemine
6. Court Is Closed – Del Jones’ Positive Vibes – Loopden Records
7. He Keeps You – Boscoe – Numero Group/Kingdom Of Chad Records
8. Charlie, Brother We Got To Love One Another – The Rock – Scorpio Records
9. Do You Remember Malcom – Bongi & Nelson – Miles Away
10. The Challenge – The Staple Singers – Stax
11. Push On Jessie Jackson – Pace Setters – Kent Records
12. I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing Pt.1 – James Brown – King
13. Why Can’t People Be Colors Too? – Whatnauts – Stang
14. Time Brings On A Change – Leroy Hutson – Curtom
15. Is It Because I’m Black – Syl Johnson – Twinight
16. The Liberation Song (Red, Black And Green) – Gil Scott Heron – Arista
17. My People…Hold On – Eddie Kendricks – Tamla

DJ Soultaker73 – Freedom Time Listen/ Download 97MB Mixed MP3


Greetings all 

Today I have a very cool, very deep, very timely new mix from my man Soultaker73.

‘Freedom Time’ is a selection of real, topical, heavy funk and soul that comes from another time but makes all the sense in the world today.

Pull down the ones and zeroes and really dig it.

Also, make sure to follow Funky16Corners on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Keep the faith




If you dig what we do here or over at Funky16Corners, please consider clicking on the Patreon link and throwing something into the yearly operating budget! Do it and we’ll send you some groovy Funky16Corners Radio Network (and related) stickers!



Keep On Pushing

By , November 9, 2016 9:47 am



Listen/Download – The Impressions – Keep On Pushing


Greetings all.

This is not the post I wanted to be writing this morning.

Unless you’re locked in an airtight, internet-tight bunker somewhere, you already know what went down last night.

America is in crisis and there are a lot of shaken people out there today.

But this is what I posted last night, and I mean every word of it:


This country has stumbled before and we had strong people who helped us stand again.

Get up tomorrow, focus and move FORWARD.

If we have children, WE FIGHT.

If we care about other people’s children, WE FIGHT.

If we care about women’s rights, WE FIGHT.

If we care about the people of color, WE FIGHT.

If we care about the rights of LGBTQ, WE FIGHT.

If we care about people with disabilities, WE FIGHT.

If we care about immigrants, WE FIGHT.

If we care about the environment, WE FIGHT.

If we care about knowledge, and art and music, WE FIGHT.


So breathe, regroup and take the words of Curtis Mayfield to heart, and KEEP ON PUSHING.



And always, and in all ways,


Keep the Faith







F16C – Soul the Vote – Keep On Keepin’ On

By , November 3, 2016 12:04 pm


Funky16Corners: Keep On Keepin’ On

Woody Herman – Fanfare for the Common Man (Fantasy)
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together (Glades)
Staple Singers – Step Aside (Epic)
NF Porter – Keep On Keepin’ On (Lizard)
Odetta – My God and I (Polydor)
Diamond Joe – Fair Play (Minit)
King Curtis – For What It’s Worth (Atco)
William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got (Roxbury)
Joe South – Games People Play (Capitol)
Brenda Lee- Walk a Mile In My Shoes (Decca)
Cymande – The Message (Janus)
Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come (Island)
Sly and the Family Stone – Stand (Epic)
Gladys Knight and the Pips – Friendship Train (Soul)
Lee Dorsey – Yes We Can (Polydor)
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee – People Get Ready (A&M)
Curtis Mayfield – We’re a Winner (Live) (Curtom)
Otis Redding – Change Is Gonna Come (Volt)

Listen/Download – Funky16Corners: Keep On Keepin’ On 115MB Mixed MP3


Greetings all.

This is a heavy one, so strap yourselves in.

I have taken time to address social/political issues a few times over the years, including Presidential elections, mid-terms and police violence.

Funky16Corners has never been primarily concerned with such matters, but there is no escaping the fact that when dealing with black music created during the classic soul era, you are listening to sounds forged on the anvil of the civil rights era.

I used to assume that anyone with a love for this music would understand how much racism, violence and the struggle to defeat both had to do with the music I feature here, but sadly I have discovered that this is not always true (like every time I post something along these lines).

This year’s election is starkly different from those of the past for several reasons, but first and foremost because of the rise of Hate (you didn’t think I was going to do him the honor of using his name, did you?).

Hate is an existential threat to this country, not only because he leads the Republican Party, which has been doing everything in its power to hobble government and its capacity to do good for the last four decades, but because of the poisons that he has stirred into the process.

Hate has taken the GOP’s once (barely) covert flirtations with racism, sexism, religious hatred, xenophobia and anti-government zealotry and placed them front and center, making them the core elements of its campaign for President.

Mirroring similar right wing movements around the world, Hate and the Republicans have taken advantage of anger and anxiety over the death of white hegemony and tossed gasoline onto a smoldering fire, making legions of hateful, scared (and often well-armed) people comfortable speaking the unspeakable and acting on those same fears and hatreds.

This, combined with horrifying levels of voter apathy, a dying press and the rise of an electronic media that further truncates the shortened attention span of a growing number of people, has allowed a media virus with an utter lack of competency, intellect, empathy or history of public service a chance to lead this country.

And if the only problem was that he was unqualified, it would be bad enough, but he is a singularly horrible person. Dishonest, arrogant, hateful, racist, sexist, vain, and patently incurious about anything that doesn’t satiate his base desires for social and sexual domination, further inflate his diseased ego, or add more money to his bank account.

He professes business acumen, yet leaves in his wake countless lawsuits, multiple bankruptcies, as well as scores of unpaid vendors, and his refusal to honor traditional levels of financial disclosure suggests that things are even worse than they seem.

There are those that would have you believe that the rise of Hate can be tied to the slow, painful death of the middle class and the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country, yet he has provided no evidence that he knows how to fix the problem, and has very likely contributed to it.

Every election is important, but this one is especially so. It is the very definition of a tipping point, as well as a defining moment in the history of the United States.

This is the moment when we discover if the American Experiment has failed, and if we as a people have any interest in the continued existence of the nation, or if we simply wish to burn it to the ground.

The time to realize that your vote is not merely a method of personal expression, but a mark of participation in a democracy, in which we strive to cooperate with our fellow citizens to honor the sacrifices made for this country, demonstrate the humility needed to admit to, and correct the mistakes made along the way, and the strength and vision to make this union a stronger one.

The key word in that last paragraph is one we don’t hear very much these days: humility.

Webster lists the simple definition of the word as “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people”.

We are fighting to demonstrate that humility is a possibility, and a crucial part of a democracy. We are faced with a force to which humility is anathema, seen not as a strength, but a fatal weakness. A force that wields nationalism/jingoism as a hammer with which to smite their enemies, real and perceived.

But unless we can show that we are capable of humility, by owning up to the dark chapters of our history (and our present) we will never be able to face down Hate.

No matter how much these people struggle, white superiority will die. It’s only a matter of when, and how much damage is done as it claws its way down the drain.

We need to remember that even though Freedom of Religion is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, this is, and always has been a secular country and efforts to impose religious doctrine on the population in general is a refutation of the Constitution.

We need to put an end to the idea that this country exists to serve the needs of business, destroying the financial security of our people, and the health of the environment to line the pockets of corporate interests.

We need to re-emphasize the fact that the police exist to protect and serve all of us, acknowledge the social and economic forces that create crime, and foster those that do away with it.

We need to acknowledge the level to which guns have become a destructive force in this country and realize that reasonable regulation is needed.

And most of all, there needs to be a renaissance of civic engagement. Participation in democracy through voting is essential, and realizing that if we do not participate, all of the important choices will be made for you by those that do.

So, what I ask of you is that you stop, and think.

Think about your fellow man.

Think about women.

Think about how we treat and educate our children.

Think about people of different faiths.

Think about your LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

Think about how the way you live, and the policies you support effect other people, here at home and in other countries.

Think about your privilege.

Think, and vote.

It’s not much to ask.

If you believe that America is truly great, display it to the world through our work and example.

The mix I’m posting today (and leaving up for a while) is largely one of recognition and optimism. I believe that we have it in us to weather this storm and continue on doing the good work that identifies us as a nation.

Do yourself a favor and listen to the words in the songs. There are a lot of heavy ones in there.

I will close by making two requests.

The first: VOTE.

The second, as always (and in all ways),

Keep the Faith



PS Don’t forget the very special Election episode of the Funky16Corners Radio Show, dropping this Friday, 11/4!

Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived!

The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock.

They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US).

Click here to go to the ordering page.
Also, make sure that you check out the links below to the Be The Match Foundation and POAC (click on the logos for more info).




PS Head over to Iron Leg, too

Soul the Vote 2016 – Pt2 – Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come b/w Shake

By , November 1, 2016 9:28 am



Sam Cooke



Listen/Download – Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come


Greetings all.

Due to the impending election, I’m going to be doing something special this week, under the banner of Soul the Vote (yeah, I know. Not the most original idea but it says what I want it to, so, y’know…).

I will be re-posting some socially/politically relevant classics all week long, culminating in a special Election edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Show this coming Friday, 11/4.

Today is a post from December of 2014, on the 50th anniversary of Sam Cooke’s death. Though I’m reposting both sides, the one to focus on here (for obvious reasons) is ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. Let’s all hope it’s a good one.

There is a lot at stake here, and while I realize that politics is not everyone’s bag, there is a tremendous amount at stake here, and if you are willing to throw your lot in with a maniac like that, then we don’t really have much to say to each other.

So dig the sounds, spread the word, and get your ass out there and vote.

Keep the Faith


I hope the new day finds you well.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but in case I haven’t, here’s something…

As a more than casual student of the interconnected nature of the Tao, and someone who has experienced the (extremely) odd coincidence now and again, the way that my life intersects with certain records often causes me to take note.

Many a time, have I been in search of a particular disc for a long time, then I get a sudden urge to look again, and there it is.

The same kind of thing often happens when I write up a record (or get ready to do so) and then I discover that some important event tied to that record (birthday, death, anniversary etc) is coming up at the same time.

I had been trying to get my hands on Sam Cooke’s final LP ‘Shake’ (specifically to get the LP-only track ‘Yeah Man’) for some time. Considering the popularity of Cooke, and the fact that the album contained no less than three hits, it surprised me how scarce a record it was, and how hard it would be to get a copy at a reasonable price.

So this fall, when I had all but given up trying, I scored a copy of the ‘Shake’ 45, and then a few weeks later  a copy of the LP verily fell in my lap (sometimes – to paraphrase my man DJ Prestige –  it less me finding the record, than the record finding me).

Last week I sat down to digimatize the discs, and what should pop up on my radar but the fact that the 50th anniversary of Cooke’s death (12/11/64) was about a week away.

Cooke has been – thanks entirely to his untimely passing – at the top of the list of transitional (and hugely influential) figures of soul music.

This is not to say that he never made any ‘pure’ soul, because the tracks above will testify to that, but rather that the bulk of his post-gospel career was divided pretty evenly between R&B, pop music and crooning.

Cooke was a brilliant singer and songwriter, and there are all indications that he would (like Jackie Wilson, an artist who’s career paralleled his) have entered the soul ‘mainstream’ had he lived, but sadly, we’ll never know.

Today’s 45, which was released about a month before the ‘Shake’ LP (it was already charting within a few weeks of his killing) was a substantial hit, both sides making it into the R&B Top 10 by the end of January 1965.

It is a study in contrasts, with ‘Shake’, a hard driving (and influential) soul number, backed with the epic civil rights ballad ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’.

‘Shake’, later covered by Otis Redding and the Small Faces among others, features some surprisingly raw rhythm guitar (Bobby Womack) running through its middle, surrounded by booming horns and solid percussion. It was recorded at Cooke’s last session, less than a month before his death.

‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ is one of those records that has an eerie depth to it. It hearkens back to Cooke’s gospel roots, but despite the title, it has never seemed to me like a hopeful song. It has the ring of inevitable resolution about it, but only as viewed through great amounts of struggle and pain.

Cooke sang the song on the Tonight Show in February of 1964 (the performance has since been lost) and never performed the song live again.

Listening to ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, it now seems inevitable that a song and performance so powerful would be seen as a landmark of sorts.

That it was released almost simultaneously with his death has cemented that status.

So toast the memory of the mighty Sam Cooke,  dig the sounds, and I’ll see you on Friday.


Keep the faith







Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived! The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock. They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US). Click here to go to the ordering page.

Soul the Vote 2016 – Pt1 – Judy Clay – Get Together

By , October 30, 2016 12:59 pm



Judy Clay and the Youngbloods (inset)


Listen/Download – Judy Clay – GetTogether MP3

Greetings all.

Due to the impending election, I’m going to be doing something special this week, under the banner of Soul the Vote (yeah, I know. Not the most original idea but it says what I want it to, so, y’know…).

I will be re-posting some socially/politically relevant classics all week long, culminating in a special Election edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Show this coming Friday, 11/4.

We’re going to get things started with Judy Clay’s epic reading of the Youngbloods’ ‘Get Together’, which was originally posted back in February of this year, during the primaries, when the unspeakable (Trump as a major party candidate) was still only a possibility.

There is a lot at stake here, and while I realize that politics is not everyone’s bag, there is a tremendous amount at stake here, and if you are willing to throw your lot in with a maniac like that, then we don’t really have much to say to each other.

So dig the sounds, spread the word, and get your ass out there and vote.

Keep the Faith



Originally posted 2/25/16

The last few months (hell, closer to a year) in relation to the upcoming Presidential election have proven to be the rancid cherry atop the shit sundae that has been served up by the opponents of democracy over the last eight (or 36, depending on your frame of reference) years.

The group I speak of is composed of the usual suspects, giant corporations, polluters, homegrown religious fanatics, cowpoke seditionists and every possible iteration of Archie Bunker-esque “populist anger” blowing ugliness at the world from their easy chairs. The combination of hard-edged, professional undermining of society, from those that would straight up fuck any one of us to insert another shiny dime in their offshore tax havens, and the infantile, heavily-armed anger of the dying white hegemony has finally pushed us to the place where we have a leading candidate for the highest office in the land that comes on like PT Barnum and the local schoolyard bully had a baby, and then handed the baby a gun.

If you were so inclined, you could start writing your stack of ‘thank you’ notes to Ronald Reagan, and all of his disciples, who somehow convinced a lot of people that their enemies were not the bosses that busted their unions and converted their once prized jobs into Third World child labor, but rather the cold, tired and huddled masses yearning to breathe free mentioned on the Statue of Liberty.

We live in a world where any number of Republican governors and corporatist Democratic apparatchiks in the school privatization movement (eager to run schools with all the vision they apply to your local Wal-Mart) have people convinced that teachers are the enemy. The same world where the people we’ve elected will turn to us and with a straight face continue to repeat the same insane incantations about deregulation and trickle-down economics that time and experience long ago revealed as a colossal sham.

We live in a world where one side of the political spectrum has collapsed like an angry toddler that has to be dragged through a supermarket, and the other side throws their hands up, without the courage or will to do anything about it.

The amount of ugly debris resulting from this collision – generally hateful, and specifically racist and nativist – is terrifying.

The press, for a variety of reasons a mere shadow of its former self, is filled not with the thinkers that once helped us make sense of an often incomprehensible world, but rather packs of fools that have abdicated their sacred responsibilities and spend their time talking about the election like they’re broadcasting a football game. As a result we are surrounded by people that have been dumbed down, and are fatally disengaged from the process.

It makes me sad, especially since I have young kids who will have to grow into a world that seems increasingly out of control.

This is not to say that all hope is lost, nor should anyone be giving up and preaching the gospel of running away (to Canada, or Europe of anywhere Donald Trump isn’t) because I believe that ultimately, this country is worth fighting for.

I suspect that no matter what happens in November, whether we are suddenly saddled with a lunatic at the helm, maintain an unsatisfactory status quo, or take a difficult first step toward something better, that there will be a lot of unpleasantness ahead.

When someone like the current Republican standard-bearer is allowed to whip a mass of shitheads into a frenzy, that energy has to go somewhere.

Whether it manifests itself as a horrific stain on a once great country, or in impotent rage at a revolution denied, is yet to be seen.

What those of us outside of the bubble need to do is – first and foremost – speak up.

Don’t let the insanity go unchallenged.

Campaign for something better.

Shut off your TV, or at least the part of it that perpetuates the stupidity.

Read a book.

Make something.


Or listen to some music.

It is precisely because I believe in the power of music, to move people and sometimes carry a message, that I do this at all.

I know the political posts are unpopular in some quarters, but as long as I have the ability to lay down and amplify (on some small scale) my thoughts, I’m going to do it.

The song I bring you today should be very familiar to most people of a certain vintage as one of the great peace anthems of the 1960s, as delivered by the Youngbloods.

I have been a huge fan of Judy Clay over the years, both for her duets with Billy Vera, and her solo work. She had a powerful voice.

So when I picked up the 45 of ‘Sister Pitiful’ (her female take on the Otis Redding ‘Mister…’ classic) I was kind of knocked on my ass by the flip side, a heavy, swampy, soulful version of ‘Get Together’.

Where the Youngblood’s version of the song is ethereal and hymn-like, Clay’s take on the song – instantly recognizable as a Muscle Shoals production – is a call to arms.

When the song starts with the words ‘Love is just a song we sing’ but then follows it with the warning shot ‘But fear can make us die’, it ought to turn your head.

Though the Youngbloods released their version in 1967, it didn’t really explode until the middle of 1969. The wistful optimism of the Summer of Love had been washed away by war, riots (race and otherwise) and paranoia.

Clay recorded her version of the song in May 1969, replacing the hippy mellowness with a powerful, gospel-infused cry, pushed along by hard charging bass, drums and horns.

It should have become and anthem all over again, but despite its inarguably high quality, it went largely unnoticed (it doesn’t even get a mention in the Wiki about the song) .

That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Give it a listen, and see if you feel the power, too.

Remember that ‘Keep the Faith’ are words to live by, whatever your faith is,and the raised fist in our logo symbolizes the power of solidarity.

Pull down the ones and zeroes, and pass it on.

Keep the faith





Also, the brand new Funky16Corners ‘Keep Calm and Stay Funky’ stickers have arrived! The stickers are 4″ x 3″ and printed on high quality, glossy stock. They are $2.00 each, with free shipping in the US ($2.00 per order shipping outside of the US). Click here to go to the ordering page.

PS Head over to Iron Leg too.

Funky16Corners: Testify

By , July 21, 2016 10:32 am


Brother JC Crawford
Syl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black (Twinight)
Staple Singers – For What It’s Worth (Epic)
Malcolm X
Equals – Police On My Back (President)
Majestic Choir and the Soul Stirrers – Why Am I Treated So Bad (Checker)
Huey Newton
Junior Murvin – Police and Thieves (Island)
Salem Travelers – Give Me Liberty or Death (Checker)
Dr Martin Luther King Jr
Earth Wind and Fire – Come On Children (WB)
Commodores – Rise Up (Atlantic)
Afro American Ensemble – Free the Black Man’s Chains (GSF)
Angela Davis
Baby Huey – Mighty Mighty Children (Unite Yourself This Hour) (Curtom)
Amanda Ambrose – Gimme Shelter (Bee Gee)
Saul Alinsky
John Hamilton and Doris Allen – Them Changes (Minaret)
Impressions – Keep On Pushing (ABC/Paramount)
Judy Clay – Get Together (Atlantic)
Abbie Hoffman
Buddy Miles- We Got To Live Together (Mercury)
Fighting Bob Lafollette
Lee Dorsey – Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further (Polydor)
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up (Curtom)
Hugh Masekela – Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song) (UNI)
Arthur Lee and Love…

Listen/Download – Funky16Corners: Testify 151MB Mixed MP3

Greetings all.

Brothers and Sisters…the time has come….

Something very ugly is going down in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland is where the wave crested, the Republican deal with the devil was sealed, and it is where the point of no return was fixed on the national timeline.

The forces of regression have been gnawing away at the heart of American for the last three and a half decades and the rise of Donald Trump is evidence that they have done considerable damage.

Though it didn’t start with Trump, his candidacy could not have existed without a foundation of anger, hatred, corruption and chaos on which to settle and grow.

There has been a lot of conjecture of late about whether or not history is repeating itself in relation to another pivotal election year, 1968. Things have changed a lot since then – especially in relation to politics and the media – but many of the ingredients that led to civil unrest then (poverty, racism, political division) have been simmering the entire time.

Thanks in large part to the unholy alliance between the worlds of high finance, industry, and socially regressive movements (often purporting to be religious in nature), and abetted by propagandists able to take advantage of the rapidly (and constantly) changing media environment, we turned on our TVs this week and were greeted by the sight of a racist, neo-fascist, ‘Potemkin Village‘ version of a tycoon as the Republican candidate for President.

Figures like Donald Trump are not new or unique in the history of the United States or the world. Ugly, nativist demagogues have repeatedly surfaced in times of strife, embraced by people eager for seemingly quick, easy solutions to deeply complex problems. Lacking the humility or courage necessary to tear down the walls that divide us, he and his followers choose instead to build new ones where they feel we should be separated.

So rises the very personification of a fist, with which they hope to pound what they perceive as  problems into submission, to try and assert their domination of a culture they see slipping from their grasp.

This is not to say that everyone that finds themselves drawn into his orbit is evil, or understands (in the bigger picture) what it is that they’re doing.

These are very hard times for a lot of our friends and neighbors. Decades of American companies bleeding the economy dry – through offshoring, deregulation and tax avoidance – have left large sections of the population either un-or-underemployed, unable to pay their mortgages (if they were ever able to afford a house at all) or rent, drowning in debt (often from medical bills or student loans) and unable or unwilling to fight back with collective bargaining, thanks to the wholesale demonization/destruction of the labor movement.

They are left terrified and anxious, living paycheck to paycheck, easy prey for those that blame their problems not on people actually running/ruining the economy, or corrupt politicians, but rather on minorities of all types (race, nationality, sexuality) and anyone else they think is contributing to the death of the white hegemony.

One of the worst by-products of this poisonous atmosphere is the breakdown of trust between minorities communities (of all kinds) and the police.
Many of America’s police forces have become increasingly militarized, poorly trained, and unwilling to deal with these weaknesses, seeing any call to do so as an unjust attack on their ranks.

As a result, we have been faced with a seemingly endless string of abuses of police power, culminating in a highly publicized series of police killings of civilians, which are rarely followed by successful prosecutions. When these cases do manage to make it into the justice system, they are often handled by prosecutors unwilling to bring rogue policemen to justice, and policemen unwilling to breach their own wall of silence. The few cases that do make it to trial, often end in acquittals or a slap on the wrist.

This pattern results in the aforementioned breakdown in trust (and more recently/tragically in assassinations of police), and many whites, awash in privilege, convinced that the police are all that remain between them and a world they’re terrified of (and have no stake in), look the other way.

One of the prominent responses to the epidemic of police violence has been the Black Lives Matter movement. BLM has become a flashpoint for racists who respond to its calls for police accountability by accusing them (unjustly) of advocating violence and racial division (thus the pathetic return volleys of “All Lives Matter”).

When police violate their oath, do their jobs so poorly that people end up dead, or otherwise break the law, and they are either let off entirely or disciplined in a much lighter way than the general public, it erodes their authority and public trust not only in the police but in the integrity of the law. That’s why the solutions to this problem must start with, or at least concentrate on the police.

But the response from law enforcement (not exclusively, but mostly, and very loudly from police unions) has been recalcitrance, refusal of accountability, and deflection of responsibility onto the victims.

When one of the two major national political parties uses their presidential convention as a vehicle to perpetuate this cycle, it puts the entire country in a horrible position.

This week we saw speakers in Cleveland (and the attendees) cheering the acquittal of the policemen in the Freddie Gray case and reinforcing the idea that everyone outside of their ranks (especially BLM) was anti-cop (as opposed to pro-rule of law).

I put together ‘Testify’ as a companion piece to a set that was first posted here back in 2010, ‘Things Got To Get Better (Get Together)’.

The specific points of reference might have been different then, but the root causes, and the people behind them were the same. At that point, we were barely a year into President Obama’s first term. Today, we are nearing the end of his second term, and approaching the election that will determine his successor.

This has been an especially divisive campaign, on both sides of the aisle, marked by the (sadly unsuccessful) ascendance of Senator Bernie Sanders in response to the rightward drift of the Democratic Party, and on the other side, the rise of Trump.

We approach the election with the GOP solidifying their support for racist policies, the repeated use of fear as a weapon, and the Democrats left trying to unify around the controversial and widely unpopular Hillary Clinton.

There’s a little more than three months until Americans head to the polls and make the decision that will determine how (or whether) this country moves forward.

This mix gathers together black artists from the worlds of soul, funk, gospel and rock, with songs that were created in response to oppression and racism (here in the US, Jamaica, the UK and Apartheid-era South Africa), crying out for an end to both and many of them asking not for separation, but for recognition, unity and progress.

The voices in between the songs are from some of the most important progressive figures of the past century, many of them controversial, but all of who worked for an end to destructive forces, advocating for the less fortunate and against the oppressors.

Some of them may be unfamiliar to younger readers (Look them up! You won’t be sorry.) and some of them may be people that you’ve heard bad things about (Again, educate yourself), but all of them are important.

Ultimately, despite all of the words I’ve managed to wring out of my tired brain, I would hope that the mix speaks on its own. If you listen, and like what you hear, pass it along to someone who you think would might dig it, and/or learn from it, and do whatever else you can to counter the dark forces eating away at the country, and our culture (first and foremost, registering to vote, don’t one of the “one in three”).

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you next week.

Keep the faith





PS Head over to Iron Leg too.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy