Since the very beginning of time, music has been a powerful tool to bring about change. Every major human rights movement has been marked by songs created by the people at the center of the crisis, people who were desperate to get their voices heard. When they didn't always have the words to say, their songs fulfilled a specific purpose for its time — disseminating information, stirring up righteous indignation, bringing people together, and sparking joy. Music did the work.
In 2020, we're still dealing with many of the same struggles of past past; institutional inequality persists and manifests in a number of disheartening, truly terrifying forms that sometimes feel impossible to face. And although we're perpetually weary from dealing with white supremacy, we're still here, ready and willing to fight for the change this world needs. And music will spur us forward.
Thankfully, the movements of the past have provided us with a powerful discography to energize our efforts. The fight continues, and so does the music. Ahead, the songs created by Black artists that you need to listen to right now.