Black & Blue’ was written on July 3rd and released on July 4th. I wanted it to go out into the world on Independence Day, in the footsteps of Frederick Douglass’ approach to celebrating the birth of this country . . . naming its ideals and principles and then evaluating where we still have much work to do to complete the construction.

We’ve all been spending a lot of time thinking (and marching) about the state of racial inequity in this country, the role of force in policing, and the spiritual cost of brutality. The tensions underlying the relationship between law enforcement and the black community are deep and complex, and have a long dark history. As much work as has already been done unraveling ourselves from that history, there’s a lot of hard work still left in front of us. This song focuses on the will to do that work.

If there’s been one central theme to all the protests it’s been that we will no longer accept the current state of affairs, and that we have the emotional and political will to push our country forward again towards our ideals. Let’s hope the next two steps forward are huge leaps. And let’s vote out our big slide backwards in November.

Danny Schmidt, July 2020

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