Ten-year-old Naima Nascimento wrote a song to help her process her feelings about the recent deaths of innocent black people.
Nascimento’s mom, Sequoia Chappellet-Volpini, posted the video of her daughter singing and playing a ukulele on Instagram and Facebook in June and the video has gained nearly 1 million views on Facebook alone. Titled “BLM” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Nascimento references the violent, viral deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. “I can’t change you/You gotta change yourself/I’d like to help you/See I’m just like everyone else,” the young singer-songwriter belts. As the song progresses, the 10-year-old celebrates her own life as a young black woman and her “right to fight.”
In the caption of the Instagram post, Chappellet-Volpini wrote that her daughter had texted the video to her a week prior and that it was just a rough draft of her response to current events. “I’m so grateful that she has this form of expression as a way to process what she is feeling and experiencing,” she wrote. “I’m so proud of her and also deeply saddened that this is the song she is writing when she is 10.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors pointed out the important intersection of art, protest and the movement at hand that is fighting for racial justice. “Art is how we get to the places that we want to get to,” Cullors said. “Art creates vision and hope and it grounds us. We cannot forget that the work that we do as artists has to be deeply aligned with the movements that are calling for artists to be some of the visionaries in this process.”
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“I wrote a song about what’s going on” Naima said to me last week and txted me this video. This is her rough draft and I was waiting for a final version, but I’ll share this for now. I’m so grateful that she has this form of expression as a way to process what she is feeling and experiencing. I’m so proud of her and also deeply saddened that this is the song she is writing when she is 10. #blacklivesmatter #blmsong #blackgirlmagic