I am completely rung out. Drained by everything that has transpired in this country over the past few days, from Alton Sterling to Philando Castile to the shootings in Dallas. I’ve been in a heightened state of arousal for the past 72 hours. I want to direct this passion outward to get about the business of effecting real change within my realm of influence but I can’t seem to access that energy. I am struggling to get beyond the pain. We are all in mourning and that’s okay. It’s part of the process.

But today, in an effort to reconnect, I am surrounding myself only with those who understand our pain, who don’t need to be convinced of the validity of our lives, who reverence our humanity and adore our beauty. Today, I am going to loose myself in the lyrics of musicians, past and present, who dedicated their art to uplifting our community.

Today news cycles and social media feeds will be replaced with vinyl and streaming as I spin this healing, soul soothing rotation of 13 empowering songs by musicians, both past and present, who know what it feels like to live and love and try to be fully human in black skin.

1. Donny Hathaway – “Someday We’ll All Be Free”

2.  Tupac – “Changes”

3. Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

4. Marvin Gaye – “Mercy Mercy Me”

5. J. Cole – “Be Free (Live on The Late Show with David Letterman)”

6. Nina Simone – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (LIVE)”
7. Lauryn Hill – “I Find it Hard to Say”

8. Talib Kweli – “Get By”

9. James Brown – “Say it Loud, I’m black and I’m proud”

10. Kanye West – “Spaceship”

11. Stevie Wonder – “Living for the City”

12. Bob Marley – “Get Up, Stand Up (Live)”

13. Marvin Gaye – “Inner City Blues”

What songs have motivated you this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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