Many times throughout history, artists have created a space for themselves in the political conversation. Along with speaking on issues they feel strongly about, artists have been key to encouraging a wave of action, so that marginalized groups can know they are not alone in a struggle. Today, Jussie Smollett is one of those artists speaking out.
The actor, singer, songwriter, and activist dropped a stirring song with visuals that takes on the current political turmoil leaving many people distressed. The song, titled “F.U.W.,” has Smollett contemplating racial and social progress in the midst of repeated attacks on African-Americans, women, immigrants and indigenous people. Visuals for the song reflect Smollett’s concerns with images of a Black man in the shadow of a noose, women in front of a “My Body, My Rights” projection, as well as various ethnicities showing solidarity with each other. Smollett also displays the struggle for bathroom rights for transgender people, making sure they don’t get left out of the conversation of resistance. You can watch the video for yourself below.
Smollett is clear that this is not some gimmick or promotional tool for his Fox series Empire. He explains, “It’s an artistic expression. My view of this sick cycle, an era in which we must fight our way out of before it’s too late. This view of unity is something they may never understand. That is why it is up to us. Train your daughters and sons to be soldiers of love, despite and in spite of this F#$* Up World.”
Smollett closes “F.U.W.” singing, “Build a wall, you won’t keep us from loving each other. We write the laws. It won’t keep us from loving each other.”
With visuals of a man in a wheelchair rolling over a mask of President Trump, Smollett is clear on who he’s addressing with the song. He lets it be known that he is an artist who is unafraid to hold our leaders accountable and combat hate where ever he sees it lurking.