While the past two weeks of protests against police have been inspiring and unifying liberation movements across the nation, unfortunately, they are just the latest reaction to a recurring problem of American society. We last saw mass protests on a similar scale less than five years ago after several Baltimore police officers killed Freddie Gray.
At the time, Prince addressed the injustice with the song “Baltimore” from his final album, Hit n Run Phase Two. Yesterday, on what would have been Prince’s birthday, his estate re-released the song with a new lyric video as a reaction to ongoing protests against the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The estate also shared a handwritten note from his archives which reads “Nothing more ugly in the whole wide world than intolerance [between] black, white, red, yellow, boy or girl. Intolerance.”
Prince dedicated his life to speaking out against injustice, advocating for black excellence, and spreading the message of "Love 4 One Another." In this note that he kept in his personal archives, he wrote a message that still resonates today. #Prince #Love4OneAnother pic.twitter.com/thTv9cukBV
— Prince (@prince) June 7, 2020
“Baltimore,” although specifically referencing Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, is more broadly about ending violence, but also incorporates the protest chant, “If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace.” Meanwhile, the video uses photos and headlines from the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the aftermath of Gray’s death that could just as easily taken place over the past weekend.
Watch Prince’s “Baltimore” video above.