Jon Batiste has organized WE ARE – A Peaceful Protest March With Music, which took place in New York City on Saturday and saw thousands join him to confront police brutality and racial injustice. The New York City protest is just one of many happening around the world following the unlawful deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
“This is our response to the deep rooted systemic injustice we have yet to fix, a fact made abundantly clear by the public execution of another black person,” said Batiste in an Instagram post announcing the event.
He continued, “This is a movement that exists because I believe the power of the arts and music is divine. Our ancestors used this power to create a better world for us and now we have the change to do the same. We are the ones to change the world. We are the golden ones.”
Batiste joins an exponentially growing number of artists, activists, and celebrities to make a meaningful impact with regard to these important issues. The music industry as a whole recently created “Blackout Tuesday” to raise awareness, while large donations from musicians like Kanye West have poured into organizations fighting for racial justice. Even lighting directors like Dustin Klein (Papadosio, The Mantras) and Brett McConnell have joined in, lighting up the protests with laser projections.
During the march, Jon Batiste spoke to CNN reporter Bill Weir about our country’s current need to rise up and fight against racism, inequality, and apathy. Watch the interview below:
“We have to fight apathy more than anything. We have to fight for black lives. Right now, if we don’t do that, nobody will. We are the ones,” musician @JonBatiste tells @BillWeirCNN during a protest in New York City. https://t.co/PDKZtJanfI pic.twitter.com/IydZKFTNfW
— CNN (@CNN) June 6, 2020
Below, watch a live video from Jon Batiste’s Facebook page of WE ARE – A Peaceful Protest March With Music which begins with a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, commonly referred to as the Black national anthem.
WE ARE – A Peaceful Protest March With Music – Led by Jon Batiste