While it’s been an unprecedented year for people taking to the streets and using their voices to demand equality and police accountability, the fight for those rights has been happening long before 2020 and—regardless of the outcome of next week’s election—is sure to continue for long after this significant year is over. Ms. Lotus Fankh illustrates the longstanding movement for social justice and civil rights in her latest song.
Today, the Milwaukee native released “No Funerals,” along with a moving music video for the song. Fankh says she was inspired to use her voice to add to the collective push for change by “the consuming narrative of job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the marches that have developed in Milwaukee and around the world.” In addition to the repeated lyrics “You don’t get to go to my funeral / You can’t watch me cry / You can’t watch me die,” the captivating composition—which the singer says possess the “aura of an old spiritual”—references the generations of pain and hardship suffered by people of color, the current social climate of racial discrimination, and innumerable instances of police brutality that have spanned decades upon decades (and still take place today).
The video hammers those references home by including photographs from the Civil Rights Movement from more than half a century ago, as well as images from recent Black Lives Matter marches. Also included in the video are images of murals honoring Breonna Taylor, Sylville Smith, Joel Acevedo, and other victims of police-inflicted violence. The stark and significant imagery is countered with footage of natural landscapes Fankh shot at McGovern Park.
As so, so many have already died and suffered as a result of systemic racism and social inequality, Ms. Lotus Fankh wants there to be no more names added to the list and, as a result, no more funerals when the fight for equal rights is finally over. You can watch the video for “No Funerals” below.