Black people need an anthem …
A song that will point to our saving grace and anchor us in our past; a past recently dusted up without context and used to pacify African people too complacent to unpack their history.
We need it to drown out the last of the holiday’s fireworks and the laughter of Black Americans emerging from their charcoal-smoked commemorations of a freedom day that doesn’t truly articulate their national identity and experience. We need a song to soothe us in the early morning of July 5th, a day that reminds us that this liberty and independence, touted just hours earlier, is a ruse for those who count themselves as descendants of enslaved Africans.
Mumu Fresh and D Smoke have a soundtrack in “North Star” for such an occasion, and such a people.
As we fortify ourselves to deal with the subliminal shots leaked out about Vice President Harris’ office being dysfunctional and ghetto, their song reminds us of the first Black woman in that executive office has the same blood in her veins as Queen Nanny of the Maroons.
A song like that will further remind us that the subjugation of the 21-year-old Sha’Carri Richardson, our dear sister persecuted after she legally self-medicated herself after hearing about the death of her mother from an insensitive reporter and denied the opportunity to run her race in the Tokyo, Olympics, is unfair and that she will be able to phoenix out of this because she shares the resilience of those forbearers that actually created the Juneteenth celebration.
The song “North Star” uses the backdrop of enslavement as motivation to walk into our most empowered selves. Jewels are woven all through the song and video.
“In 1864, Safe Houses along The Underground Railroad were often indicated by coded quilts hanging from a clothesline. Those escaping slavery were instructed to follow the Big Dipper which pointed toward The North Star.”
Produced by A Mecca Filmworks, directed by T.L Benton, and executive produced by Maimouna Youssef herself, the video’s release is timely and beautifully symbolic. Just consider the single’s name. The North Star was the guiding source for enslaved Africans looking to self-emancipate themselves. Knowing how to follow the twinkle, that small aspect of cosmology helped guide them to spaces more free than their plantations. But with it dropping around the 4th of July, it seems to also nod to father Frederick Douglass. This freedom fighter published his abolitionist periodical, The North Star, whose motto was “Right is of no sex–Truth is of no color–God is the Father of us all, and we are brethren,” was created to inform us of who we are and ways to escape the white heavy gaze of slavery.
And appropriately his speech surrounding the 4th of July is echoed in Mumu’s latest song. Listen for yourself.
More than ever, our people need a North Star. Thank goodness for courageous artists that put pen to paper and rhyme to track to shine bright for us— showing us the way.