Chastity Brown: “Golden”
Thirty plus years ago Public Enemy began their single “Bring the Noise” with a sample of Malcolm X shouting “too black, too strong!” In the intervening decades not as much as changed as one might think when it comes to black voices. You can see it in the reaction to the George Floyd murder, with outrage over the taking of an innocent life giving way to outrage over the destruction of property (while conveniently ignoring the fact that it’s white people doing most of the destructing).
You can hear the same thing in the chorus of local songwriter Chastity Brown’s new single “Golden.” “Does this black woman voice have too much power / would it go down sweetly if I sang softer?” Brown began writing her tune before the Uprising but the tune took on fresh life as the events of the past weeks unfolded and Brown said she reached her “breaking point, [her] boiling over.”
Of the song’s themes Brown says:
This collective trauma that black, indigenous, immigrant, and queer/trans folk feel is real. It’s every god damn day. Yet, we still thrive and flourish in our natural beauty, we still have swag and songs for days. We still have wild and wondrous imaginations like we are all the children of Octavia [Butler].
You can stream the tune below and/or download it from Chastity Brown’s site. The tune is free but she encourages anyone who can to donate to one of the recommended orgs listed.