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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Take It’ By Black Roots

In this vintage reggae tune from Black Roots, the group comments on capitalism’s exploitation of poor and working class people.

The song, “Take It,” says we’re “living in an unjust world, when the rich have put the poor in chains.” It empathizes with workers who labor from early in the morning to the evening, their muscles aching from the start of their shift.

“Some take it with the white, some take it with the green. They all play for a different team,” the group sings in the chorus.

The wealthy elites and corporate executives are not on the side of the poor. Black Roots calls on the poor people to unite. Build strength “whether you’re black or white.” “Together one voice can break down the chain of brutality.”

It speaks to both the racism of capitalism as well as the profit motive that leads to destruction and pollution of communities.

Black Roots formed in Britain in 1979. They have been making reggae music that confronts social issues for decades, and “Take It” is one of several protest songs on their 2018 album also titled, “Take It.”

As the group describes, their music is inspired by how youth have lost their way “in the jungle of capitalism.” Brothers and sisters slay each other and commit violence because they have adopted the mindset of those with power and influence. So they put money before life

“It couldn’t be a more significant time in history to impart these messages as more and more countries lurch to the right infringing and diluting the rights of minorities, refugees, and the poor,” the band’s page declares.

The war on the poor, fueled by greed, is worsening hunger, poverty, gentrification, and all sorts of other social ills, yet there are only false prophets making self-serving statements about the struggles of working people.

Black Roots brings transcendent reggae rhythms, punctuated by the brassy sounds of a trumpet, to lift our spirits in these times.

Listen to “Take It” by Black Roots:

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."