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The-Dream’s surprise single “Black” has been years in the making. As we deal with the effects of Donald Sterling’s racist comments, other powerful images on the side of equality come to mind. As the LA Clippers place their jerseys inside out, we are reminded of the late, great Nelson Mandela, the Civil Rights Movement, and many other social heroes fighting against injustice.

Music is one of the most popular and powerful tools of inspiration. In “Black,” The-Dream conveys this message:

“Black isn’t just a color. Black isn’t just a race anymore. It’s a feeling and a place from which one feels isolated by the world of the governing elite. Classism is the new racism. This is what black feels like.”

Songs like this are meant to inspire and to encourage dialogue about the world we live in. But don’t catch the spirit just yet. Here are some other tracks to make your heart explode and get your feet moving.

Public Enemy

“Fight The Power”

Best Line: “Cause I’m Black and I’m proud/ I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped/ Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps/ Sample a look back you look and find nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check”

Michael Jackson

“Man in The Mirror”

Best Line: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/ I’m asking him to change his ways/And no message could have been any clearer/ If you wanna make the world a better place/ Take a look at yourself and then make a change”

Marvin Gaye

“What’s Going On” 

Best Line: “Father, father We don’t need to escalate /You see, war is not the answer/ For only love can conquer hate /You know we’ve got to find a way /To bring some lovin’ here today”

A-List Version 

“We Are The World”

Best Line: “Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares/And their lives will be stronger and free/As God has shown us by turning stone to bread/So we all must lend a helping hand”

Wyclef  Jean

“If I Was President”

Best Line: “Instead of spending billions on the war I can use that money, to feed the poor I know some so poor/when it rains that’s when they shower /When screaming “fight the power” That’s when the vulture devoured”

Jadakiss

“Why”

Best Line: “Why did crack have to hit so hard?/ Even though it’s almost over Why n**** can’t get no jobs?/ Why they come up with the witness protection? /… Why I sell in the stores what you could sell in the streets? /Why I say the hottest s***but we sellin’ the least?

Nas

“Black President”

Best Line: “I think Obama provides hope and challenges minds /Of all races and colors to erase the hate And try to love one another/ So many political snakes /We in need of a break/ I’m thinking I can trust this brotha …but will he keep it way real?/Every innocent nigga in jail gets out on appeal When he wins, will he really care still?”

Goodie Mob

“Rebuilding”

Best Line: (Cee-Lo) “Music saved my life and now I’ll never forget it/ That’s why I try to glorify God with it/ But it still remains, its in my veins I know that I’mma sin/ I just hope he’ll forgive me again”

Talib Kweli

“Get By”

Best Line: “Some people get breast enhancements and penis enlargers/ Saturday sinners, Sunday morning at the feet of the Father/ They need something to rely on/ We get high on all types of drug When, all you really need is love”

Bone Thugz N Harmony

“Tha Crossroads”

Best Line: “And I ask the good lord why He sigh, he told me we live to die/ Whats up with that murder y’all? /See my little cousin was hung/ Somebody really wrong anybody wanna touch that star?”

Queen Latifah

“U.N.I.T.Y”

Best Line: “Instinct leads me to another flow/ Everytime I hear a brother call a girl a b**** or a ho/ Trying to make a sister feel low /You know all of that gots to go”

Tupac

“Changes”

Best Line: “Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right/ Cause both Black and White are smoking crack tonight/ And the only time we chill is when we kill each other/ It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other”

Sam Cooke

“Change Is Gonna Gome” 

 Best Line: “Then I go to see my brother And I say brother help me please /But he winds up knockin’ me/ Back down on my knees/ There were times when I thought I couldn’t last for long/ But now I think I’m able to carry on”

Lupe Fiasco

“Ghetto Story” 

Best Line: ” Soon become criminals if you dark-skinned/ And you was raised in a project apartment/Public Aid made it so your father couldn’t stay/He has to part them, left only with a mother/The family structure suffers..he still a boy, needs to fill a void marchin/up the block up to no good sellin’ in the wrong hood/he was taken down by a marksmen.”

VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube 

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