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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Morning In America’ By Durand Jones & The Indications

The following was originally published at Ongoing History Of Protest Songs.

Durand Jones & The Indications is a soulful band that recently released their sophomore album, “American Love Call.”

Concerning the objective of the album, drummer Aaron Frazer stated, “As America grows more diverse, we have the opportunity to form the strong, interwoven tapestry that we’ve long claimed.”

“When we find a way to unite across our various movements and see the commonalities of our struggles, we can begin to push forward together,” Frazer added. “We can begin to see the threads connecting our goals as disparate rallying cries blends into a single song. An ‘American Love Call.’”

One of the album’s standouts is “Morning in America,” which hearkens back to socially conscious soul music of the 1960s and 70s.

The lyrics highlight several societal ills, such as contaminated drinking water, doctors and big pharma over prescribing addictive pain-killers, and systemic racism. Throughout its history the USA has never been able to “see the dawn.” Instead, the “morning in America” turns into “mourning in America.”

A video directed by Ellie Foumbi was produced for the song. The video’s visuals mix modern hardships with images from the civil rights movement of the past, highlighting injustices that have always been woven into the fabric of the USA.

“We’re in a time when so many in this country romanticize the past—wishing to return to a place of simplicity and former glory. But the reality of our history can be disillusioning,” Frazer explained. “For so many in America, the past represents violence, oppression, fear, and colonialism.”

Through their music, Durand Jones & the Indications effectively employ the traditions of the past to provide relevant social commentary on the present.

Listen to “Morning In America”:

 

Chelsea Manning. Photo by Media Convention Berlin on Flickr.
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CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest