Howardena Pindell combines different materials and phrases to create a commentary on man’s inhumanity to man. Using outlines of her body, words describing torture and abuse, and a reference to teargas, she draws our attention to oppression of people throughout the world.
Howardena Pindell is a full tenured Professor in the Art Department of Stony Brook University (State University of New York), where she has taught since 1979 and was Director of the MFA Program from 2003 through 2006. She teaches graduate and undergraduate drawing, painting and seminar courses.
She received an MFA from Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture in 1967 and a BFA in Painting from Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1965. She has two Honorary Doctorates, one from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and one from Parson School of Design/The New School University, New York.
Howardena Pindell worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for twelve years and was an Associate Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books. She was a visiting Professor of Art at Yale University’s School of Art from 1995 to 1999. She has received numerous grants and awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Joan Mitchell Grant, a Studio Museum in Harlem Artist Award as well as an Anonymous Was A Woman award and the Most Distinguished Body of Work or Performance Award from the College Art Association.
Her work is in numerous private, cooperate and public collections, including the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Yale Art Museum, New Haven, The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, The Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago among many others.
Midmarch Arts Press, New York, published a book of her writings, The Heart of the Question, in 1997. She has written articles that have appeared in The Print Collector’s News Letter (New York), Art Papers(New York), New Art Examiner ( Chicago) , International Review of African American Art (Virginia), n.paradoxa (London) and Third Text (London).
Her most recent one person exhibition in New York was at the G.R. N’Namdi Gallery in Chelsea (2006). Her work includes painting and three dimensional prints and drawings. She also incorporates photography into her work. She often works on a very large scale. She has a current one person exhibition is at Louisiana Museum of Science and Art in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Jan.19-April 7, 2007).
Feminist Artist Statement:
One of my first one-person exhibitions was held at AIR Gallery, the first women’s cooperative at 97 Wooster Street in New York City. The New York art world was more rigidly and solidly white and male at the time than it is now and this condition was being resisted. I developed a number of tools for inward looking, personal assessment through the women’s movement’s consciousness raising processes in order to understand how racism and sexism work within the art community as well as the community at large. I found my true voice through the African American movement but received my training wheels in the women’s movement in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I feel that this is true because I was shy and did not have my original family and community roots in the black community in New York City, but in Philadelphia. I was invited by the white feminist community to join them, whereas the African American community in general at the time was highly critical of abstract African American artists. My use of odd materials also came through the influence of work that I saw exhibited within the feminist community. The materials I used included powder, perfume, glitter, thread and sewing sequins. African influences came by way of seeing loose hanging textiles, both here and in Africa. I saw nails in nkisi sculpture. I also was aware of a kind of stenciling and sewing together of loose fabrics as well as having a very dense and energetic surface tension in my paintings and works on paper.” ~Howardena Pindell
Coretta Scott King was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a young college student. King became a member of the NAACP after she was banned from student teaching while pursuing a graduate degree at Antioch College. When one of her supervisors told her that black teachers should not teach white students, she protested, and joined the NAACP on her campus as well as the the Young Progressives and the Civil Liberties Committee.
She was an advocate for human rights. In 1983, Mrs. King helped create the Coalition of Conscience. The organization is a collective of 800 human rights groups dedicated to promoting world peace. It sponsored the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the March on Washington.
She was against apartheid. She was part of several protests against apartheid in South Africa, and lobbied for the release of Nelson Mandela. She traveled several times to the country to meet with anti-apartheid activists and to support black South Africans affected by state-sanctioned oppression. She was a staunch advocate of gun reform. King was against gun violence, and worked closely with gun control activists Sarah and Jim Brady to speak out on the need to reform the way people access and use guns in the United States.
She supported feminist causes. She played a vital role in the founding of the National Organization for Women, and was appointed by President Carter as a commissioner on the National Commission on the Observation of International Women’s Year. She was an LGBT ally. King described homophobia as “a form of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” Despite her ties to the Baptist church, she worked to raise awareness specifically in the black community about the lives of gay and trans people. At the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic she called for more funding and research and in 1983 she lobbied for an amendment of the Civil Rights Act to include members of the LGBT community in the Protected class, which includes women and people of color.
She kept her husband’s legacy alive through her own activism. After her husband’s death, King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, and served as its president for more than a decade. She also tirelessly lobbied for a national holiday celebrating her husband’s life after his death. In 1983, she successfully got Congress to pass an act in favor of the holiday, which was first celebrated in 1986. (the above mini-bio was sourced from Huffington Post)
Silenced by the Senate, Elizabeth Warren explains why she opposes Sessions
PBS NewsHour Video: Published on Feb 8, 2017 Partisan tensions came to a head on Tuesday over the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was chastised and officially silenced after reading out loud a decades-old letter by the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. (Coretta Scott King) that called Sessions’ record on race “reprehensible.” Lisa Desjardins reports and Audie Cornish interviews Warren.
Washington (CNN)Rep. Maxine Waters said Monday that President Donald Trump’s actions are “leading himself” to possible impeachment.
The California Democrat tweeted last week that her “greatest desire was to lead @realDonaldTrump right into impeachment” after an interview with Cheddar, a video news network.
“I have not called for the impeachment yet. He’s doing it himself,” Waters said when asked about the statement at a news conference. “Let me just say that the statement I made is a statement in response to questions and pleas that I’m getting from many citizens across this country. What are we going to do? How can a President who is acting in the manner that he’s acting?” Waters said that she’s concerned with Trump’s travel ban executive order, “the way he’s talking about Muslims” and his friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think that he’s leading himself in that kind of position, where folks are going to ask, ‘What are we going to do?’ and the answer is going to be, ‘Eventually, we’ve got to do something about him,'” she said. “We cannot continue to have a President who’s acting in this manner. It’s dangerous to the United States of America.” She later told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that Trump is creating “chaos and division.” “This man is questionable,” she said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “And because we have suspicions — many of us — about who is, where he came from, what his actions are, and all of his conflicts … we have to find out more about him and some of that leads to the possibility of impeachment.”
a Girl Power Academy Thanks YOU Maxine Waters!!!! Let’s IMPEACH TRUMP!
Last week, these two dozen or so former Democratic congressional staffers released their vision for a similar Democratic resistance to Donald Trump in a 23-page document titled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” The document offers “a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents.”
Jewish American political thinker Hannah Arendt, who escaped Germany in 1933, saw the problem as “not what our enemies did, but what our friends did.”
On election night, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had a revelation. Matthews, with a pained expression, began to piece together the basis for Hillary Clinton’s pending defeat. She had failed to communicate a tough position on illegal immigration. She had supported bad trade deals. She had not renounced all of the “stupid wars.”
Her presidential rival, Donald Trump, on the other hand, had waged what Matthews called a “legitimate” campaign on these issues, a claim that seemed to stretch the bounds of legitimacy, but Matthews was not alone. In the following days and weeks, others would make similar claims implying a victory that, weeks before, had been impossible was actually inevitable ― and liberalism was largely to blame.
People magazine put Trump on its cover in November, a month after one of its journalists, Natasha Stoynoff, accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2005. The magazine’s editor-in-chief reassured readers that they stood by their journalist and her allegations, but Trump had “made history” and thus earned the cover.
In a New York Times op-ed, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” Mark Lilla argued that “moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity” had “distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Trump’s popularity, Lilla argued, was not a consequence of a white backlash (whitelash) but rather a reaction to “the omnipresent rhetoric of identity or ‘political correctness.’”
Michael Lerner, in another New York Times op-ed, “Stop Shaming Trump Voters,” argued that “the pain and rage of the Trump voter is legitimate” after decades of this constituency being ignored or attacked by the left for cultural and religious reasons. He added that “we need to reach out to Trump voters in a spirit of empathy and contrition” and reassured us that “the racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans.”
These reactions to Trump and his supporters have a way of separating ideas that usually move in tandem. Facts and truth are suddenly unrelated. Power no longer implies responsibility. Legitimacy and decency are now somehow passengers on separate ships. In this dynamic, People magazine can champion both the perpetrator and the victim and see no contradiction or betrayal. Lilla can use the victory of a campaign steeped in identity politics to highlight the ineffectiveness of identity politics. And Lerner can argue that a campaign “advanced” by sexism, racism and xenophobia can tell us much about the targets of that bigotry, i.e. that they need to behave differently, but little about the supporters of that campaign.
So, why the rush to defend Trump’s supporters? Why the self-recriminations? Why the willingness to stretch the bounds of legitimacy to accommodate Trump’s antics? Much has been written about Trump’s demagoguery and its similarity to totalitarian leaders of the past, but what about Trump’s opponents? Are many of us borrowing a page from totalitarianism without realizing it? Are we empowering him? Are we coordinating?
The word Gleichschaltung is often translated from the German as “coordination” and refers to the process of ― politically speaking ― getting in line. It often appears in books about the Nazi era. German Jewish philologist Victor Klemperer and German journalist Joachim Fest wrote about the personal cost of coordinating in their respective memoirs. German author Sebastian Haffner and Americans including journalist William Shirer wrote about the propaganda and politics of coordination.
German-born Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, in one of her last interviews, explains it best.
“The problem, the personal problem, was not what our enemies did, but what our friends did. Friends ‘coordinated’ or got in line.” And this coordination was not necessarily due to the “pressure of terror,” said Arendt, who escaped Germany in 1933. Intellectuals were particularly vulnerable to this wave of coordination. “The essence of being an intellectual is that one fabricates ideas about everything,” and many intellectuals of her time were “trapped by their own ideas.”
People rejected the uglier aspects of Nazism but gave ground in ways that ultimately made it successful. They conceded premises to faulty arguments. They rejected the “facts” of propaganda, but not the impressions of it. The new paradigm of authoritarianism was so disorienting that they simply could not see it for what it was, let alone confront it.
Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress.
Sebastian Haffner, in 1940’s“Germany: Jekyll and Hyde”
The faulty premise that empowered Hitler and helped place him in the German mainstream was called the Dolchstoss or the legend of the “stab in the back.” It argued that, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Germany was winning World War I only to have politicians surrender prematurely.
Hitler, as a political figure, was the embodiment of this hack theory. While many rejected Hitler’s anti-Semitism and bellicosity, his deep sense of having been wronged by Germany’s surrender in World War I ― a war in which he fought ― gave him authenticity. It also created a hole in the German Republic’s legitimacy that he and his followers barreled through.
Before there were the camps and murders ― and the euphemisms to hide all of the camps and all of the murders ― there was this feel-good lie that should have been dismissed ― along with the people telling it, from the beginning.
In today’s United States, the suggestion that illegal immigration is the cause of the economic struggles of working-class whites is an American Dolchstoss. Mechanization, globalization and the decline of unions have affected working-class whites to a far greater extent than illegal immigration ― or immigration of any kind. And this is not an obscure fact or liberal talking point. Yet many who supposedly reject Trump’s scapegoating of illegal immigrants seem willing to concede it.
The debates about how or what, if anything, workers can do to combat this reality are endless, but the claim that immigrants are to blame is the talking point of the demagogue, not a reflection of economic reality.
When the decline of working-class jobs was perceived as a problem for African-Americans primarily, the neoliberal and conservative positions were much less sympathetic. According to William Julius Wilson’s 1996 book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, “Between 1967 and 1987 Philadelphia lost 64% of its manufacturing jobs; Chicago lost 60%; Detroit 51%.” This meant hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, disproportionately affecting African-Americans. The solution from conservatives? “Migrate” was black conservative Shelby Steele’s prescription. “Get new skills,” said others. And even more popular was “behave more like Asians.” Yet whites need an entirely new mythology, even if that mythology hurts prospects. According to a recent Politico article by Dana Goldstein, “America: This Is Your Future,” “Rust Belt cities that are attracting immigrants are in better shape than those, like Dayton, Ohio, with fewer foreign-born residents.” Yet, “the people who are upset about immigration live in areas where immigration has had very little impact. A lot of the upset is symbolic.” The symbolism and the propaganda form a kind of feedback loop, each reinforcing the other, regardless of the underlying truths ― or lack thereof.
In his 1940 book, Germany: Jekyll and Hyde, Haffner explains this relationship between impression and propaganda, even for those opposed to the Reich. He writes, “Outside of Germany people often wonder at the palpable fraudulence of Nazi propaganda, the stupid incredible exaggerations, the ludicrous reticences concerning what is generally known. Who can be convinced by it? They ask. The answer is that it is not meant to convince but to impress. It addresses emotion and fantasy. Nazi propaganda seeks to create in our minds tenacious ideas and fantasies.”
In Haffner’s time, the tenacious ideas and fantasies were the subhuman images of the Reich’s enemies. Many Germans rejected the “facts” of this propaganda: that Czechoslovakia or Poland posed existential threats to Germany and the German people, but the impression of the propaganda remained. “The image,” Haffner wrote, “of the Czechs and Poles as a snub-nosed, unpleasant, dwarfish half-ape brandishing a revolver, whip or rubber truncheon at a number of barely clad women, children, and blond men bound to posts.” Who could trust such a person? Why risk it?
Trump’s propaganda about Mexican rapists and Muslim terrorists operates in a similar way. The informed listener knows that most rapes are committed by perpetrators that are known to the victim. They know that most terrorist attacks in the United States are committed by non-Muslims, but the impression that those groups are not to be trusted ― that to trust them is taking an unnecessary risk ― remains.
The impressions born of the propaganda give birth to discussions that worsen the problem. Commentator Van Jones, for example, debated CNN panelists recently about discrimination against Muslims. To support his argument that Muslims are not the enemy, he cataloged many of the positive attributes of the Muslim community as if Americans that are hostile to Muslims are acting in good faith based on bad information rather than cherry-picking incidents to support their underlying prejudices. Jones reminded viewers and other panelists that Muslims have low crime rates, high educational achievement and high rates of entrepreneurship. The fact that it needs to be said demonstrates the relative power of the people asking the questions to those who must answer. It morphs questions about Muslims into a kind of Muslim Question that exists not to seek answers but to emphasize the otherness of the Muslim community and to limit its rights.
While on the campaign trail in February, Trump urged followers to “knock the hell” out of protesters, promising to pay their legal bills if they were arrested and charged. That same February in Fort Worth, he promised a crowd that he would “open up our libel laws” so that news outlets can be sued for writing “false” or “purposely negative” articles. In July, he urged Russia to interfere in the election on his behalf, later saying he was joking. In September, he urged still other supporters to “monitor” polling stations. In October, he promised when victorious to throw his rival, Hillary Clinton, in jail. And just recently he advocated revoking the citizenship of Americans who burn flags.
So, in the last year, Trump has flirted with or, maybe more his style, groped and pawed at totalitarianism, yet the advice from many is to “give him a chance” ― or to coordinate.
In 1949, Harvard psychologists Jerome Bruner and Leo Postman performed a study that helps explain the contradiction. Bruner and Postman recruited two dozen college students to participate in a study of perception and expectations. The experiment involved playing cards. Participants were shown a series of cards. Most of them were standard playing cards, but included in the series were several trick card: a black four of hearts, a red six of spades, a red six of clubs, to name a few. Each card was presented, and the participant was instructed to identify it correctly.
There were four possible reactions to the trick cards. The first was “recognition,” or describing the trick card accurately. The second was “disruption,” or being confused by the card and as a result be unable to describe it. The third option was “compromise,” which mixes the incongruities in the cards: the black four of hearts is reported as “grayish”; the red six of spades is reported as “purple.”
The fourth and most common reaction by far was “dominance.” The participants expected to view a normal series of cards, so when faced with a trick card their minds approximated, and the trick card became the most similar normal card: a red spade was identified as a red heart or diamond; a black heart was identified as a spade.
The report of the study, “On the Perception of Incongruity: A Paradigm,” said, “Our major conclusion is that perceptual organization is powerfully determined by expectations built upon past commerce with the environment. When such expectations are violated by the environment, the perceiver’s behavior can be described as resistance to the unexpected or incongruous.”
The participants could only see what they expected to see. Their minds coordinated. For many Americans, the expectations of the game are divided government, stability and continuity regardless of what the candidate promises. However, if the new regime has embraced authoritarianism, then there will be trick cards in the deck that have to be identified correctly and challenged.
“Patriotism” became a trick card in Klemperer’s memoir and study of Nazi language, The Language of the Third Reich. Klemperer wrote of a Jewish neighbor, Frau K, who continued to speak with pride about Germany and the “Fuhrer,” despite having been deemed subhuman by the regime. Patriotism and deference to leadership ― respect for the office of the president, as we call it ― might have elevated Frau K in the old paradigm, but in the new one it worsened her condition.
“Divided government” became a trick card in Shirer’s 1960 history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, when Hitler pushed through the Enabling Act and, “In five brief paragraphs,” took the power to legislate, approve treaties, and initiate constitutional amendments away from Parliament. A divided government essentially “committed suicide,” according to Shirer, and bequeathed its power to a dictator.
There were many others, but “dominance” made them difficult to recognize. Joachim Fest writes in his memoir Not I, “At first, the countless violations of the law by our new rulers still caused a degree of disquiet. But among the incomprehensible features of those months, my father later recalled, was the fact that soon life went on as if such state crimes were the most natural thing in the world.” Those months would turn to years. Not the thousand years that Hitler had predicted, but enough to cause millions of deaths.
We should not waste our time or imaginations trying to reconfigure Trumpism to explain why all of the “good people” supported him. It is more important to see it for what it is and resist. Hopefully, they will join us. If not, it will not be necessary to call them names, they will have named themselves.
WE do NOT agree to shake hands with ANY of Donald Trump’s “entitled” pussy-grabbing sexual predators,
For those of you Deplorable Trump “winners” who will not look back, there can be NO common ground for us as you offer NO way to heal.
Not facing RAPE, and denying the RAPE, and ALLOWING the dehumanization of the RAPE survivors, will never make RAPE go away. There can NOT and will be NO healing between us. Ignoring Rape is inhumane. Saying “let it go” is not a constructive approach to healing trauma. What you are suggesting is suppression and submission, not healing.
This is YOUR fault(s). NOT mine.
For those of you Deplorable Trump “winners” who have had your Carrier Furnace jobs saved, so that Trump is your Santa President, you are SELFISH. You mean, as long as you’ve got yours, you’re happy? This is GREED. This has NOTHING to do with the Spirit of Christmas. Carrier is under United Technologies which is a parent company that feeds the Military Industrial complex. You are essentially selling arms for Christmas. Carrier is still sending jobs to Mexico. Trump didn’t “save” everyone’s jobs. He bribed Carrier to keep the 730 jobs as a tax incentive for Governor Pence’s state and 1,200 are still being outsourced to Mexico, as originally planned. Trump’s business deal benefits the Hosiers of Indiana due to the evangelical Governor Mike Pence’s connections. This is NOT the party of the “working man.” Trump is the party of the working man’s “Bosses.” These are PRIVATE interests and the workers being used in this “masterful” showmanship are cogs in the corporate machine. The President of the United Steel Workers Local 1999, Chuck Jones, (Union leader for Carrier) is actively calling out Donald Trump as a LIAR.
To Bernie Sanders who is agreeing to work with Trump, your revolution is a sham. Have fun selling your tired, old books.
To President Barack Obama who shook the hand of the pussy-grabber and branded him “pragmatic,” for the sake of a “peaceful transition,” your wife has been photographed on her back, without a face, stretched across the steps from part of the white house by a celebrity fashion photographer who helped “shape” female body image since before I was born.
Mr. President, Michelle looks vulnerable and ready to be walked on, as you prepare to leave office. Annie Leibovitz’s Vogue spreads and Vanity Fair fantasies have primarily helped girls and women feel self-shame and competitive. Being reduced to classic poses, draped or featured as ornaments to be gazed at, but not truly considered is Annie Leibovitz’s agenda. What she has helped peddle for the beauty industry is not “girl power.” Leibovitz can not begin to compensate now with her inaccessible women’s empowerment gallery housed in a former women’s prison. We know it’s mostly for Gloria Steinem who says she takes pleasure in how the inmates used sledge hammers to participate in the new construction. Obviously, Gloria is an emancipated woman, and she can not “give” this to the former inmates. She can only show and tell. The Massive Incarceration system is the New Jim Crowe, as Michelle Alexander wrote in her book the about the age of colorblindness. Is it not ironic that as these former inmates who suffered some of the worst sexual harassment and rape in a prison system, are using sledge hammers to elevate a white woman’s art show but still have not gotten their chance to shatter a symbolic glass ceiling?
ADVICE TO those of you who feel Donald Trump is NOT your President:
Don’t EVER make it easy for them. Fight the Power. Fight against the rape legitimizers. History knows who the tyrants are. History remembers who went along with them and lied by calling it peace. The “best revenge” is not living a good life despite “them.” This is NOT about revenge. Trump did NOT understand the working people better. He understood how to manipulate them better. Donald Trump did NOT win the popular vote. Three million more citizens voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. WE the People have been delivered the very tyrant that the constitution was meant to keep out. The electoral college, designed in the 1700’s was meant to protect slave owners. The electoral college should be purged from our system of governing and recognized for the racists they represent, which do not reflect the American values of Equality and Justice for all.
Donald Trump is a Human Rights Abuser. Do NOT normalize his behavior.
To those of you who feel Donald Trump is NOT your President, YOU are NOT the ones disturbing the peace. Do not allow them to say you are lacking grace. What is required now is NOT grace.
The Public Enemy “Fight the Power” (music video) is being Posted Here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
Public Enemy “Fight the Power” Lyrics: 1989 the number another summer, get down Sound of the funky drummer Music hittin? your heart, ’cause I know you got soul Brothers and sisters
Listen if you’re missin? why?all Swingin? while I’m singin? Givin? whatcha gettin? Knowin? what I know and
While the black bands sweatin? And the rhythm rhymes rollin? Got to give us what we want Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
As the rhythm designed to bounce What counts is that the rhymes designed to fill your mind Now that you’ve realized the prides arrived We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart, it?s a start, a work of art To revolutionize, make a change, nothin?s strange People, people, we are the same No, we’re not the same, ’cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless You say what is this? My beloved, let’s get down to business Mental self defensive fitness
Yo, bum rush the show You gotta go for what you know To make everybody see In order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you say Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power
Lemme hear you Fight the power Lemme hear you say Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be
Elvis was a hero to most But he never meant shit to me you see Straight up racist that sucker was Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne ‘Cause I’m black and I’m proud I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find Nothing but rednecks for four hundred years if you check Don’t worry be happy was a number one jam Damn, if I say it you can slap me right here
Let’s get this party started right Right on, c’mon, what we got to say Power to the people, no delay Make everybody see in order to fight the powers that be
Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power Fight the power We’ve got to fight the powers that be