"The revolution will not be on demand, brother: the revolution will be live," sings rapper poet Black Ice in a new viral video (see below) out to promote the new doc "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners," which opens in theaters on April 5. It's a witty line, among many, in this timely update of Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 protest anthem. While the song references the original, the lyrics are altogether contemporary, admirably sending up many of pop culture's current distractions -- erectile dysfunction, American idol, Real Housewives, the Kardarshians, YouTube clips, Taylor Swift, and a host of black stars that presumably have done little to foment substantive revolutionary change. Or at least that's my interpretation of it.
I, for one, am happy to the see the protest song resurrected. It serves as a potent reminder of the media's complicity with political apathy. And if it gets one new person to be interested in Angela Davis and what she stood for, that's good news to me.
Steely, wounded, angry, frustrated, defeated and defiant, Davis expresses so many emotions, and such a fierce rhetorical argument, that I don't think anyone who sees the clip could argue with her about the need for a strong--and yes, possibly violent, if pushed--response to oppression.