Songs For The Movement: Now A Days

The Songs for the Movement section of N.A.H. houses selected protest songs for social justice from the past and the present.

Today’s entry in Songs for the Movement is “Now A Days” by Aaron “Ab” Abernathy. Aaron Abernathy is the grandnephew of civil rights activist Ralph David Abernathy.

From Aaron Abernathy:

MY UNCLE WAS AN ORATOR AND LEADER WHO SPOKE FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS OF HIS TIME. HE WAS CALLED TO DO SO AND I FELT THE SAME ABOUT BEING CALLED TO WRITE THIS RECORD FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS OF MY TIME.

NINA SIMONE ONCE SAID: ‘I CHOOSE TO REFLECT THE TIMES AND SITUATIONS IN WHICH I FIND MYSELF. THAT TO ME IS MY DUTY. AN ARTIST’S DUTY IS TO REFLECT THE TIMES! HOW CAN YOU BE AN ARTIST AND NOT REFLECT THE TIMES?’ I AM AN ARTIST AND I’M CALLED TO REFLECT JUST THAT. THIS IS MY CHARGE AND I ACCEPT! “NOW A DAYS” IS THAT REFLECTION.”

Song Lyrics:

“NOW A DAYS

Verse 1

Now a days
There is no guarantee I’ll make it home
Cause The value of my life is slim to none

The color of my skin
It scares the men
Who wear a badge
And they’ll gun me down
If they feel I’m a threat

Now a days
The content of my character can’t speak
Before they spill my blood out in the streets

And as it flows they make me into
What they’re taught to think
That I’m a thug and drug dealing machine

Verse 2

Now a days
When we protest the injustice we live
Somehow we get the blame for what they did

They gentrify our hoods
And make them good then kick us out
And wonder why we kick and scream and shout

Why so entitled
Does your privilege bring you any shame
We work twice as hard and more to have a say

And surely as the sun shines down
On beautiful black skin
No we will not back down and we will win

Vamp

And I believe that only we can save us
So I’m counting on you
To love yourself, your children, and your neighbor
And know that God will always bring us through

They want to reduce us to a Black man and woman
But they gotta understand we’re human
And this world is ours just like it’s yours
And we won’t be ignore”

Learn more at Blavity.

If you have suggestions for Songs for the Movement, share them in the comments or via email.

Ubuntu,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW

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Written by

I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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