In 3rd grade, my Pops took to me to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture up on 135th Street to listen to a dialogue between Professor Jack Salzman and Dr. Cornel West on the topic of race relations in America, particularly issues surrounding the Jewish and African-American communities. At the time, Dr. West was promoting his book “Race Matters”, which, amongst other things, puts a magnifying glass to the current state of Black Folk in America. It touches on a range of topics that we’ve been dealing with since we got here, many of which have snowballed into huge present-day issues. Pops bought a copy of the book in the lobby of the Schomburg, and after he read it, he made me read some of the essays that it contains and then we discussed them at length.
From then on, I had a reel keen sense of what We were going through in America. Add to that my various studies of Af-Am History throughout my matriculation in academia, and I have a pretty thorough grasp on what the deal was and is; I always keep my finger on the pulse. Years later, here’s a track inspired by and entitled after Dr. West’s book, “Race Matters”. I touch on a range of topics that affect the Diaspora, from self hate, to Fox News, to the Natural vs Good hair crisis, to Colorism (light skin vs dark skin), to the relationship between African-Americans and 1st generation immigrants from Africa, to racial profiling in Retail establishments, and so on and so forth. – Jelani
DOWNLOAD: Jelani – Race Matters (prod. Durkin)