Saturday, August 15, 2015
A Soundtrack for a Black Child Standing Against Police Thuggery in Ferguson
Time decides if a photo is iconic. The image of a young black child facing down police thuggery in Ferguson, Missouri will, I hope, be elevated to such a status. The photo is a type of mediated image; the eyes, always the eyes for me, tell the true story, much more so than any abstract or technical discussion of semiotics and the politics of meaning.
President Barack Obama recently shared a public version of his soundtrack for the summer. This list seems to capture the feelings of a president who happens to be black, in the twilight of his term, and contemplating his successes, disappointments, and understanding of how America's history, as a white supremacist society, grown from the contradictions of slavery and freedom, whose culture is black and brown, mated with the thrown off human surplus of Europe, built on bloodied land stolen from First Nations peoples, as well as the labor of the Asian, can simultaneously love and loathe the idea and fact of its first Black President of the United States.
If you were to make a soundtrack that channels the feelings evoked by the image of a young black child facing down thug cops in Ferguson, what would you include?