A Song for Assata and Trayvon

17 Jul

Assata Shakur

It wasn’t until I reach undergrad when I was formally introduced to Assata’s work through music. It wasn’t her words, but her voice on Common’s album ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ to which I was first drawn. When she said, “Freedom? You asking me about freedom? I’ll be honest with you, I know a whole lot more about what freedom isn’t than what it is.” her words stayed with me. They never left.

About ten years ago, when I living in Houston pursing a music career I demo’ed a song by Dick Gregory’s daughter, Ayanna Gregory, called “I Believe.” I didn’t realize until later that the song was adapted from Assata’s poem ‘Affirmation‘. All along Assata has been in my life like a strangely familiar shadow. The sort of encounter that’s the sweetest.

Happy birthday Assata Shakur.

Video description:

On July 16th, 2013, also Assata Shakur’s birthday, I put together a tribute piece for Trayvon Martin. The images are from a recent Travyon Martin peace rally I attended in New York City. I recorded the song, “I Believe” over ten years ago and up until now never released it publicly. I figured now was a better time than any to share the song with others. The lyrics are adapted from Assata Shakur’s poem Affirmation. Enjoy.

Photos and video by Tara L. Conley (copyright 2013)

One Response to “A Song for Assata and Trayvon”

  1. Alex August 9, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    I was in undergrad when I first read Assata’s autobiography, and saying it changed my life is no understatement. Her book is one of those texts that changes the life of everyone who touches it.

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