And then Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou tosses off his large-brimmed, black hat, shakes his dreadlocks and demands freedom with these words: “We want freedom and we want it now!”
“Resist,” is just the opener to one of the most rousing Tiny Desk Concerts I’ve seen. During this 20-minute set Rev. Sekou took us all through an even wider range of emotions as he recalled the horrors of the white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va. last summer. He said he spent weeks in preparation, organizing clergy for what he says was “the largest gathering of white supremacists in modern history,” then watching the activist “Heather Heyer take her last breath” after she was struck by a car that plowed into a crowd of marchers. The song “Bury Me” is a bluesy anthem to freedom that honors those who have died in that struggle for racial equality and freedom. In his free-form preamble to the touching ballad, Rev. Sekou works himself into a passionate frenzy, before airing his intense indignation for President Trump.
I saw Rev. Sekou perform in Austin during this year’s South by Southwest music festival. I believe him when he tells the NPR crowd “I’m Pentecostal, we can go on for two or three hours!” His call to action is fervent and wholehearted, steeped in history with hopes for brighter days.
- “Bury Me”
- “The Devil Finds Work”
Osagyefo Sekou (Vocals), William Gamble (Keys), Reggie Parker (Bass), Cory Simpson (Guitar), James Robinson Jr. (Drums), Gil Defay (Trumpet), Chris McBride (Saxophone),Matia Washington (Background Vocals), Rasul A Salaam (Background Vocals), Craig Williams (Percussions)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Khun Minn Ohn, Beck Harlan, CJ Riculan, Kara Frame; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Eric Lee/NPR.
Bob Boilen- Host, All Songs Considered – TINY DESK