In recent months, there has been a lot of political action as people say enough is enough. After the murder of George Floyd, we've seen Black Lives Matter grow in size, protests in the streets, blackouts on social media. Many artists have been sharing their thoughts in pictures and text on all of the platforms. The frustration and outrage has been palpable.
Usher took his frustration a step further, using his music to convey his feelings. He released the song "I Cry" which speaks volumes about the current state of things. The song features lyrics likefor the sons without fathers
and the pain that their mothers
hold deep inside
Usher released a music video for I Cry, which captures the emotional depths of his performance. Self-directed, the video focuses on his face as he vocalizes the pains he is feeling. Overlaying the video, he presents images by the late photographer Gordon Parks. The images echo the power of the words, showcasing the racism and lack of social justice in america, and the protests that have echoed out to fight against it.
All proceeds from the song are being donated to LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) which works to support black owned businesses and community groups. It's great to see Usher taking action and going beyond just words. With this song, he's providing a direct connection with the movement, and with his financial support, he's putting money behind it as well. Watch the video below:
While watching Usher's I Cry video, it made me think of a Daily Show clip that came out in late 2019 about Mental Health and the black community. Trevor Noah discusses the stigma around seeking mental health, especially for men, and even more so for black men. I appreciate what Usher's doing in his song and music video for I Cry as it is continuing to work to normalize the notions that men can be emotional. It's okay to not be tough all the time, and to be vulnerable. Especially now in these tough times, it's good to release yourself. You can watch the clip from the Daily Show below as well.