Elizabeth Cotten was barely a teenager when she wrote one of the most iconic songs in the American folk canon. It took decades for music historians to give her proper credit.
Where Were You on 9/20?
I was talking to a friend recently about police violence against people of color. It hasn’t stopped. According to January 2023 data from Mapping Police Violence, Black people are still three times more likely to die at the hands of police than white people, even though they were 1.3 times less likely to be armed.
The Coup: Sorry to Bother You
This Oakland outfit continues to create danceable manifestos for the masses: “I got scars on my back, the truth on my tongue,” front man Boots Riley raps. “Tell Homeland Security we are the bomb.”
TV on the Radio: We’re an American Band
With the recent election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, TV on the Radio may have been the most American band making music in 2008. Little did we know then that the country would face a vicious and sustained backlash that continues to threaten our democracy.
‘Leaving Eden’: A Story of Music, Race, and Old Endings in an Old Southern Mill Town
Leaving Eden tells the story of countless small towns across the South since the days of slavery.
Rap and Rebellion: The 1992 L.A. Uprising, 25 Years Ago Today
TweetThe following roundtable discussion was published in Option magazine 25 years ago. The points made in this discussion by members of the L.A. community and […]
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘Dreams’ Deferred
TweetI first wrote the following commentary in January 2011 for the now-defunct Option-Magazine.com. At the time, America had a Black president. We were cautiously optimistic. […]
“Civil rights freed the white southerner… It gave us grace”
TweetThose words come from the late Phil Walden, one-time manager of the southern soul singer Otis Redding and southern blues-rock band The Allman Brothers. It […]
The No. 1 human rights issue today is racial justice — as it’s always been
Tweet“Is there a problem, officer?” “Damn straight, it’s called race.” — Mos Def, “Mr. Nigga” I can’t shake my despair over the Trayvon Martin verdict. […]