Memorialising the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s death (August 28th), ALA.NI is releasing the Adrian Younge produced single ‘Lament for Emmett Till’. The song is a reimagined version of ALA.NI’s sparse, achingly-beautiful song released earlier this summer on July 28th, the eve of what would have been Emmett Till’s 79th birthday.
In ‘Lament for Emmett Till’ (Amazon Original), ALA.NI recites a 1955 poem of the same name by the radical activist, journalist and organiser of the first Notting Hill Carnival, Claudia Jones, over Adrian Younge’s lush, cinematic production. Jazz style drumming, flowing strings and twinkling piano join ALA.NI’s soulful voice.
The song is available to stream and purchase only on Amazon Music: http://amzn.to/ LamentForEmmettTill
“The death of Emmett Till illuminates the expendability of black lives in America,” says Adrian Younge. “We must continue to highlight the atrocities that plague our system, this incident serving as a catalyst that galvanised the black community against racism and social injustice.”
“It has been a real experience uniting with Adrian Younge on this Emmett Till protest project,” says ALA.NI. “We had to record outside of our normal way of working together, which is usually at his L.A studio. But due to COVID-19, we worked remotely. Me in Paris and London, Adrian in L.A. Something neither of us like to do, but we found a way, across the high seas, connecting our musical bond. The song is important to us both to deliver. The message needs to be heard. JUSTICE.”
Check out ALI.NI original track, below:
Find out more about ALA.NI via her Facebook
Find out more about Adrian Younge via his Facebook
ALA.NI is an official ambassador of The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, which supports the campaign to seek justice for Till. The Foundation is currently asking the public to sign a petition demanding the FBI release the findings of their recent reinvestigation into his murder as a matter of urgency. All proceeds from the ‘Lament for Emmett Till’ campaign will be donated to the foundation and you can sign/share the petition HERE.
On August 28th 1955, at the age of just 14, Emmett Louis Till was kidnapped, brutally beaten and murdered after being wrongfully accused of making sexual advances towards a white female clerk, Carolyn Bryant, at a Mississippi grocery store. His murderers were acquitted, only to then confess in a paid magazine interview months later knowing they couldn’t be retried. After his mother bravely decided to have an open-casket funeral, Till posthumously became a symbol of the Civil Rights movement. With his mutilated, unrecognizable body laying bare the brutal reality of the Jim Crow era for all to see, over 100,000 people came to visit the casket and pay their respects to Till as his body lay there for five days.
Inspiring huge demonstrations and condemnations from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks (who once remarked: “I thought about Emmett Till, and I couldn’t go back [to the back of the bus]”), Till’s death is widely cited as playing an instrumental part in galvanizing what would become the decades-long struggle for African-Americans to live a life free of racial discrimination and state-sanctioned violence. A struggle that is still being fought tooth and nail today. More info on Till’s story can be found on the ETLF website HERE.
Although the FBI may have reopened the case and ‘The Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act’ (which seeks to make lynching a federal crime) is currently making its way through the US judiciary system, justice for Till still remains far out of reach, not least because Republican Senator Rand Paul is controversially blocking the bill, and Carolyn Bryant herself admitted in a 2007 interview that she had lied about the events that led to Till’s murder.