True change for tomorrow requires us to look at the past and understand how we came to be the way we are today. Oregon may be nationally known for its tree-hugging nature, but underneath the surface, our roots are dirty with systemic racism and political passivity.
It’s time to put our power into the voices who aren’t afraid to face this past, to embrace the revolution we are in today, and to create a new vision for tomorrow.
The incredible thing about music is that it honors—even idolizes—the individuality of the artist. Different is good. New can be groundbreaking. From Prince to Marvin Gaye to Tupac to Mel Brown, no two are alike and we celebrate that fact. But let’s make sure people from all walks of life are able to achieve such heights.
While we’re celebrating black lives, stories and messages, we’re also seeking to uplift all marginalized voices in our community. There’s no justice, no peace until all human beings—regardless of color or how they identify—are equal. Everyone is beautiful, beloved and deserving of the opportunity to express themselves. Everyone is worthy of self-actualization.
First, we need a society that not just allows but enables and encourages black, brown, indigenous, gay, queer, trans, non-binary and every other individual to thrive. We need all folks on the level where they can write their own “Redemption Song.”
We know our local Portland artists have had some extra time due to the pandemic. Add a healthy dose of energy as we rise in revolution and that’s the perfect recipe for some powerful political screeds, incendiary freestyles and reflective protest music. So let's hear it!
Have you been inspired? Have you written a song for these times?
Let us help you get it out there: Record it, upload it to YouTube and send us the link.
Let’s keep each other motivated and empowered in the way we know best: through music.
Are you a #PDXmusic maker with an anthem for the revolution? Share it with us:
Don't have a song but want to contribute to the movement? Donate to the PDX Protest Bail Fund or Don't Shoot Portland.
Editor’s Note: I am white. I am male. This makes it all the more crucial that I constantly seek to understand my community and the world around me as I move through it—with no small amount of privilege.
Like any good journalist, I strive to ask intelligent, inquisitive questions—and then genuinely listen to the answers. If any of this resonates with my fellow white Portlanders and Americans: Remember that empathetic conversation involves more listening than talking.
Now, turn up this playlist!