The #BlackLivesMatter movement has a new anthem
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Puerto Rican vocalist and activist Taína Asili just released her newest music video “Freedom” on Jan. 18th, 2016 on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The song and video also features Detroit-based poet Michael Reyes. The video depicts a young black woman running from police after a protest against mass incarceration, interspersed with images of the same actress portraying a runaway slave on the Underground Railroad.

“Freedom” is a song from Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde’s most recent album Fruit of Hope, and is inspired by Asili’s deep involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement and movements against mass incarceration.

Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde combine powerful vocals with an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae and rock. The eight-piece ensemble from Albany, NY, offers a sound that spans continents, inspiring audiences to dance to the rhythms of rebellion. 2015 marked 20 years of Taina Asili’s career creating music for social change. She first gained attention fronting the prominent political punk band Anti-Product. She has since toured the country numerous times, as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and throughout Europe. She has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Talib Kweli, Anti-Flag, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Rebel Diaz, The Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars, Paula Cole, Pamela Means, Ursula Rucker, Staceyann Chin and Sonia Sanchez.

This timely new video is a reflection of Taina Asili’s history working in prisoner justice movements. In the late 90’s Taina began supporting U.S. political prisoners, and later moved to Philadelphia to organize support for Mumia Abu Jamal. In 2010 she helped to found the New York State Prisoner Justice Network. Her current organizing is with Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration (CAAMI), with whom she co-founded the Arts In Action Committee. Members of CAAMI are featured as actors in the music video.

Featured artist Michael Reyes is a Chicano/Mexicano poet, emcee, and community organizer who has been featured on HBO and worked with Kanye West.  As a hip hop artist, his work is a synthesis of radical soul, raw lyrical hip-hop, fresh beats and poetic style. For more than 12 years he, has brought innovative and engaging performance to audiences across America and internationally. Reyes is also active in the campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera.