The Bay, Black Lives Matter, and Bandcamp: Local Resources and Ways to Help

 

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:

Fantastic Negrito

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?

Wizard Apprentice

With a delicate voice layered over stripped-down, variant techno beats, Wizard Apprentice makes intimate music about universally difficult subjects.

Tia Nomore

“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

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.

A-1

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.

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