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I grew up in Texas, which is where Juneteenth originated. Either nobody I knew talked about it (and pretty much everybody I knew was white), or they did and I managed to forget. Either one of those is pathetic.  

This year is different. This year Juneteenth comes in the middle of a literal viral pandemic and an essential moral revolution to assert the should-be-beyond-obvious truth that Black Lives Matter. I know what the holiday is now, well enough that I could explain it, but you're probably better off letting somebody better qualified than me do that, like Henry Louis Gates, Jr. or Fabiola Cineas or Ben & Jerry.  

But I also know what it sounds like, this year, and maybe on this subject I'm actually a qualified reporter. You don't need a gothic-metal/alt-idol fan to tell you about Black protest music from personal experience, but I don't know because I knew, I know because I spent a couple days reading every article I could find about new protest songs, collecting them, and then running a lot of iterative data-analysis over the listening and playlist-making patterns of hundreds of millions of Spotify listeners to find what else the people who know those songs know, and then repeating the process until everything else it gave me was old. I know because people know, and I can find out.  

What can you do to hear and amplify Black voices? You can listen. You can turn them up. If you don't have your own place to start, you can start here now.  


PS: More new protest songs released on 2020-06-19 itself:  

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