“Phoenix” by Lakecia Benjamin: Black Power Culture


Andrian Kreye

Before Lakecia Benjamin makes it clear in the nine-minute “Amerikkan Skin” at the beginning of her album “Phoenix” (Whirlwind) that she is not just a virtuoso on the alto saxophone, but also a voice with weight, the piece initially remains an impertinence. It begins with the siren of an American squad car, gunfire, and still-revolutionary black power legend Angela Davis reciting an incendiary speech that begins, “Revolutionary hope lies precisely with women who are made history were let down.”

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