Baltimore, MD. April 12, 2015. Police arrest Freddy Gray and throw him into the back of a cruiser. By the time he arrived at the police station, Gray was unconscious. A week later, dead.
South of town, Raheem DeVaughn and Wes Felton reconnect via a telephone call. Ten years prior they had joined forces and created music and a movement together. Since then, DeVaughn produced five solo albums and garnered three grammy nominations, while Felton’s career as a poet and actor took off. Both sons of jazz musician fathers and raised in single mother homes, the two had been living parallel lives as black men and as artists for far longer than they had actually known each other. With the country at a political and cultural crossroad, this phone call inspired the rebirth of a movement. The CrossRhodes, reborn.
August 26, 2016. Over 1000 black lives have been lost to police violence since Freddy Gray was thrown headfirst into that backseat. The list of the abused and the oppressed continues to grow, but protest movements have been born amidst the chaos.
So, what can The CrossRhodes do? What can we all do?
Please, embrace The CrossRhodes Coat of Arms: The Heart. The Fist. The Microphone. The Gun. Snap out of it and stop acting the part; follow Ghandi’s mantra, “As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…We need not wait to see what others do.” It is time for accountability. Time for responsibility. Black Lives Matter is a movement, but it is not going to matter if the movement doesn’t respect the lives.
Encourage critical thinking. We have a black president, and yet still a systemic oppression of the black community. This community includes police officers, politicians, businessmen, activists, athletes, and so many more. How do we explain this paradox to our children? Activate. Think outside the box, outside yourself, outside this world. You can leave Footprints On The Moon.
This is the power of activism, the power of effort, and the power of music.
This is the rebirth of The CrossRhodes. We make the soundtrack for the movement.
3/24 Private @ Art Gallery
5/4 Atlanta, GA @City Winery
5/25 Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
6/8 Sacramento, CA @ Harlowe’s
6/9 Oakland, CA @ New Parrish
6/10 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint
7/6 Largo, MD @ Lake Arbor Fest