Black Spaces

Last year they briefly let me out of the hole to take the train down to New York City to see Ava DuVernay in conversation with Jelani Cobb as part of the New Yorker Festival.

The above tiny video is just a taste of the song that was inspired by that conversation – a happy mashup of references to Selma and Compton and Camazotz. Written on the train back upstate.

The below is the complete song.


It’s also available on Spotify, if that’s your thang.

And here’s a taste of the conversation.


Black Spaces

Black faces in black spaces, in the dailies they reflect no light.
French money man is begging her to show their eyes.
Black faces in black spaces, on the daily, darkness whisperers.
French money askin: “Ou sont les yeux?”

She ain’t trying’ to be that girl.
Don’t walk her on with “Glory”.
She ain’t trying to save the world.
It’s enough to tell a story.

Black faces in white spaces, collect art with yo aunt and absorb the light.
Black faces in white spaces, daddy’s little spies.
Black panic, white panic, confessor black, tesseract, daddy’s little girl
Hop from planet to planet, she gonna save the world.

Money talks, so you keep talking.
You still broke but ya keep talking.
It’s yo masterstroke that you keep talking.
Cuz they think they woke but they sleepwalking.

A black girl is gonna save the world.
Black girl gonna save the world.

Black faces in black spaces
It’s a jail, it’s a cell
It’s the road to Hell
Paved with good intentions
It’s the hull of a ship
It’s a footstep, it’s a bridge
Will you sink, can you swim
Whozit Whaztit and Which
Fight a might, make a right
Paint with celluloid and light
It’s the promise of life
It’s the promise of life
She was raised on the promises of life
It’s the promise of life
In yo heart, in your heart
It’s the waters of a march.

Keep on tryin to tell our story
Wild nights are your glory.