The song is based on Fig’s own experiences growing up Mexican in southern California, but it is also the story of so many others who are black and brown.
I remember being 17, and what kind of anger a 17-year-old black male can have. When I put myself in Trayvon’s shoes, I would have tried killing Zimmerman, too–had he approached me. I probably would have charged Darren Wilson, given the record of the Ferguson Police Department in that community. I can see myself running away like Freddy Gray, if I was black in Baltimore.
But that never happened to me. I never had to test my anger. Eventually, I left the country, traveled the world, and learned how to channel that anger creatively. I went to college, I learned I wasn’t the only angry black man; I gained a support system, and discovered how to cope with the anger. I developed a voice and a language to navigate and combat white supremacy.
Trayvon never had that chance, nor did Mike Brown, along with all the others. Unlike me, their road to black manhood was cut short.
That is why we need people to support the Mixed-Race Mixtape. It’s not a narrative for just half Latino/half White kids. It’s a tale for the black and brown in the hoods. It’s about the kids who are grappling with the realization that they are seen as “the problem.” It’s about being black, brown, angry and confused about how to navigate certain spaces. But most importantly, it’s about sharing those stories with the vast majority of people who don’t know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of the black and brown.
As musical director for the Mixed-Race Mixtape, this is what comes to mind as we create the music to tell such a story about race in America today. It’s about telling a story that needs to be heard, because this kind of narrative has been silenced for too long.
Please give today to support Mixed-Race Mixtape. With just a week left, we need your support now more than ever. Give what you can at IGG.ME/AT/MRMT
- Mtali William Banda