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Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Zami’ By Moor Mother

Moor Mother (Bandcamp)

The following post was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music.

Experimental musician and acclaimed spoken word artist Camae Ayewa had a prolific 2020 with the free jazz project Irreversible Entanglements and a few projects released under her spoken word alias Moor Mother.

As Moor Mother, Ayewa released “Circuit City,” her punk-inspired “True Opera” album featuring producer Mental Jewelry, and her collaboration with rapper Billy Woods.

“Zami'” is Moor Mother’s first release in 2021, and since announcing that she has signed to the record label ANTI-.

The short but powerfully ominous tune gets its name from Audre Lorde’s 1982 book.

According to Ayewa, “‘Zami’ speaks to a number of different themes. Using the lenses of Black Quantum Futurism, the lyrics speak to time and space, injustice, racism, erasure of African identity.”

“‘Zami’ speaks of agency and something beyond freedom. It speaks of another future. It speaks about connections free from the stains of colonialism. It speaks about the expansive temporalities of Afro Diasporan people around the world,” Ayewa added.

Black Quantum Futurism refers to the collective Ayewa co-founded with Rasheedah Phillips, dedicated to “a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future’s reality.

“This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space.”

Through various artistic expressions, the collective seeks to “explore personal, cultural, familial, and
communal cycles of experience, and solutions for transforming negative cycles into positive ones using
artistic and holistic methods of healing.”

Listen to Moor Mother’s “Zami”:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lzfq7MlN5i8
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