Thursday, 1 December 2016

Listen to This! Protest Music for Troubling Times

The morning after the election all I knew was that I wanted to take some time to reflect. I knew that I was going to need a lot coffee, some Coltrane, some James Baldwin and some Gloria Steinem. As an incredibly privileged white Canadian I was going to take a few days to feel my feelings. 

I really didn't think that these were going to be our battles to fight, not on this level, not like this. But here we are. We're all going to need to roll our sleeves up and be a part of the resistance to normalizing Trump's attitudes and actions. But we also need to fill our reserves with coffee and books and music and the knowledge that we're not alone.

There is power in art. And what better art form than a uniquely American one, built on the culmination of hundreds of years of injustice and suffering to help us through these troubling times?

Without further navel gazing, here is some of my favourite jazz protest music to help sustain you, make you think and fire you up.*

*Most of it is familiar and legendary, dating back to the civil rights movement, but there is some fantastic new stuff from Christian Scott and Terence Blanchard as well. Want to share your favourite protest music? Drop a link in the comment section.