Activist and educator Jonathan Lykes has seen his fair share of street protests, and the talented musician has decided to throw his own hat into the ring, with his inspiring anthem, ‘I Love Being Black’.
There’s nothing hidden with ‘I Love Being Black’ – it’s all out there to be seen, and it’s a straight up statement of self-affirmation, in a long tradition of topical and political song. With the call of unity to his fellow Black and Brown friends and comrades in a celebration of their beauty and strength, Lykes wants them to realise their own power, and how it increases when they stand in solidarity. ‘I Love Being Black’ is not merely a celebration of Blackness, but rather also responding to centuries of systemic, anti-Black racism, and the debasement of Black humanity, and indifference to the suffering of Black people. It’s a defiant, bold, and brave statement.
Lykes is a co-founder of Black Youth Project 100, as well as the curator of The Black Joy Experience. With their album of freedom songs, The BYP100 aim to teach the value of holistic energy culure. Lykes puts himself out there on the regular, ‘I Love Being Black’ is no different to this. We hear Lykes, his friends and comrades, and one solitary acoustic guitar.
The video for ‘I Love Being Black’ was directed by Lykes, and we see him playing his acoustic guitar in the middle of Black Lives Matter Plaza, in Washington DC. His fellow activists are right there with him, some of whom have signs, ready to fight for liberation if called upon to do so. ‘I Love Being Black’ is the perfect summation of their hope for the future generations, and their belief in who they are.
Listen to ‘I Love Being Black’ in the music video below. You can find Jonathan Lykes online on Twitter.