Angela Johnson captured this moment, again, with "Black Boy Lullaby"

Photo courtesy of Angela Johnson

(June 6, 2020) Singer, songwriter and producer Angela Johnson has been a mainstay of SoulTracks from the beginning. The triple threat musician is a two time SoulTracks Readers' Choice Award winner and has long been revered by our readers for her insightful lyrics and her keen sense of melody and rhythm.

The U.S. and the world are in mourning right now over the death of George Floyd and the bigger issue of justice and equality that it represents. Many artists have captured the struggle over the years, but one that particularly came to my mind was Angela's 2014 song, "Black Boy Lullaby." It is a single that expresses the deep love and pride of an African American parent who is bringing her child into the world, and the unfortunate resignation that a lifetime of cautionary warnings come along with the glorious event. 

(June 6, 2020) Singer, songwriter and producer Angela Johnson has been a mainstay of SoulTracks from the beginning. The triple threat musician is a two time SoulTracks Readers' Choice Award winner and has long been revered by our readers for her insightful lyrics and her keen sense of melody and rhythm.

The U.S. and the world are in mourning right now over the death of George Floyd and the bigger issue of justice and equality that it represents. Many artists have captured the struggle over the years, but one that particularly came to my mind was Angela's 2014 song, "Black Boy Lullaby." It is a single that expresses the deep love and pride of an African American parent who is bringing her child into the world, and the unfortunate resignation that a lifetime of cautionary warnings come along with the glorious event. 

We asked Angela to talk about the song in light of the events of the past week, and she told us, "Overwhelmed with emotion, I wrote this song in response to the racially motivated killings of innocent, unarmed black men (and women) we see so often in our country. From a black mother’s perspective, she begins early, writing to her unborn son where she begins that dismal, but hopefully life-saving conversation we inherently call 'The Talk.' At the same time, she is uplifting her black child, instilling in him a sense of pride and strength, regardless of what we’ve been negatively depicted as. She ends the letter stressing that we’ll courageously stand together and fight for justice and equality, all in the name of love."

This song is as impactful, insightful - and even hopeful - this week as it was when Angela wrote it six years ago. Check it out below.

By Chris Rizik

 
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