Esperanza Spalding Releases Politically Charged Music Video
Bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding has released a music video with a political theme. The clip for “We Are America” is a commentary on the continued detention of detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The video merges the uptempo r&b song with on-screen text and quotations about the prison facility.
Musicians Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monáe, as well as actor Harry Belafonte and dancer Savion Glover, appear in the video.
Spalding issued a statement saying, in part, that “what is going on at Guantánamo is a clear violation of U.S. human rights obligations.”
Spalding became motivated to take a stand on the issue while she was on tour with her band. “It was the first time I heard about the hunger strike,” she recalled. “I was touring in Europe, and I was appalled and embarrassed about what was happening. When I returned home, I remember I started researching online to see what I could do about it, and I saw that I could download this action pack. With that you had some important info to use to call your representative. And I did. I did call my representative and senators. In fact, I got a letter back from one senator who basically said that she was not going to proactively deal with it but that they would ‘keep my comments in mind,’ or something like that. But I really wanted to do more. And my band actually came to me first and said they wanted to do something, too.”
The video is posted here.