Hey Bay Area,
It’s been a rough week. It’s also been, hopefully, a first step in a greater reckoning regarding racial justice, discrimination, and police brutality in America. Black people are suffering even as they are mobilizing, speaking out despite years of attempted silencing, and working their way through each day, the best that they can.
The Bay Area, as always, will play a crucial role in the future of this movement. As much as the Bay celebrates a rich history of political activism, Black music, and Black culture, on the other side of that coin is a painful history of white supremacy and violence against Black bodies.
There are many different ways to contribute to this movement, and a myriad of resources to help you do so. There is no such thing as a definitive list, but here are some local resources to help you get started (or continue) your support.
Support Black artists with Bandcamp
Bandcamp is, once again, waiving its share of sales on June 5th to help artists impacted by COVID-19. Support local Black artists buy buying their music and merch. Also, a lot of artists and labels are preparing special releases for the 5th, with the proceeds going to organizations supporting racial justice. Bandcamp has compiled a list of those here. Also, there’s a big chance a lot of your favorite bands are donating their proceeds from the day. Check their socials for confirmation, and get yourself a t-shirt.
Want to spread the word about your favorite Black Bay Area musicians? Make a playlist of Bandcamp bops using this cool website. There are currently a lot of playlists featuring exclusively Black Bandcamp artists on there if you are on the hunt for new music. Unfortunately, the website does not currently have a native search function, so keep an eye on the “Newly featured” section.
Finally, mark your calendars: on June 19th, and every June 19th hereafter, Bandcamp is donating all of their cut to the NAACP legal defense fund.
Here are some cool local musicians to support June 5th, June 19th, and every day:
Oakland native Fantastic Negrito makes funky, soul-influenced rock. His upcoming album title asks the same question we’ve all been asking ourselves every day since quarantine started: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?
With a delicate voice layered over stripped-down, variant techno beats, Wizard Apprentice makes intimate music about universally difficult subjects.
“i just record when i can and write all the time,” states Tia Nomore’s descriptor, a sentiment which can’t fully encapsulate the self-assuredness of her straightforward raps with a 2000’s throwback vibe.
Kidd AM is a recent Bay resident, but her commitment to examining the ways that her hometown of Clinton, Louisiana has shaped her musical style can be appreciated by anyone who knows what its like to love, hate, and everything-in-between the complex and brilliant Bay area.
Despite a period of musical silence, SF rapper A-1 is has been slowly moving back into releasing new work, including this excellent single he started working on after the murder of Philando Castile in 2016, but didn’t make public — until now.
Support local organizations working towards racial justice & rebuilding
Check out these organizations working to dismantle oppressive power structures, empower their communities, and spread education and awareness.
Anti-Police Terror Project — Community support, legal referral, police reform/eradication
Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee — education, bail funds
Black Earth Farms — food distribution, food education
Masterdoc of Oakland business who are requesting support — various needs
NLG – Bay Area Chapter — legal defense and support for protesters
People’s Breakfast Oakland — homeless support, food distribution, bail funds
People’s Community Medics — free basic first-aid workshops
Internal work, external change
People who are not Black have a responsibility to their communities — and to themselves — to work towards dismantling white supremacy. There are so many different ways to do this. Work to find the best way for yourself.
Black Lives Matter. Stay safe, and take care of yourselves.