This Black history month has been very healing for me. From being surrounded by love and community at the Black Arts Festival, to crying my eyes out after watching Black Panther, it’s been nothing but positive. I haven’t yet had a moment to reflect on and process the bad, mostly because it’s emotionally exhausting to do so and I’m honestly avoiding it. Recently, Philly rapper Andrè Altrez has provided a valuable space for me to confront the trauma and fears I have associated with my experience as a Black American.
Altrez’s side project Ahza Ahza came about as a coping mechanism; a way for him to process his emotions about police brutality in a productive way through his art. Black Power Ambience is an expansive, 24-minute piece that layers emotional, atmospheric soundscapes and frames various clips of important Black figures like Angela Davis, Nina Simone, and James Baldwin sharing validating commentary about the frustrating but also beautiful experience of being a Black person in America. Continue reading →