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Black history month song reviews: Part 2

In honor of Black History Month, Staff Writer Houdah Daniels examines songs that are particularly important in the black community. The second one is Be Free by J. Cole, which discusses racism and the issue of police brutality in America.

Rest in Peace Jordan Davis. Rest in Peace Eric Garner. Rest in Peace Michael Brown. Rest in Peace Trayvon Martin. Rest in Peace to the countless amount of sons, brothers, and fathers who have been victims of the systematic oppression of black males through police brutality in the United States.

“I’m in denial” J. Cole raps, as he is in disbelief of the so-blatant racism continuously occurring throughout America today, specifically in reference to the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer from Ferguson, Alabama. The race of the police officer versus the victim who was shot is relevant in understanding the power dynamic society has constructed in support of white supremacy and black inferiority throughout history. 

In the song, Cole repeatedly declares, “all we wanna do is take the chains off…” alluding to the similarities between present-day America and 17th, 18th and 19th century America where people were kidnapped from Africa, forcefully shipped to the American colonies and exploited as workers. Trapped in chains. “All we wanna do is take the chains off”. 

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About the Contributor
Houdah Daniels
Houdah Daniels, Advanced Staff Writer
Staff writer Houdah Daniels (’20) first introduction to journalism was being a part of the  “Journalistic Writing” elective when first coming to ASL in Grade 7, and continued on with “Media Studies” her following year in Grade 8. Throughout her high school career, Daniels has been involved in both high school publications: Sojourner (the yearbook), in sophomore year, and The Standard in freshman, junior and her current senior year. One highlight of Daniels’ experience on The Standard was co-writing her first published article, which made center spread, with then Editor-in-Chief Tyler Skow and features editor Ananya Prakash (who would late become Editor-in-Chief in her senior year). As a senior, Daniels believes being a staff writer in the “Advanced Journalism: Editors” class has not only strengthened her work ethic and ability to work as a team player, but has also inspired her to explore several aspects of journalism, specifically using our online presence.

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