May 10th, Unchain your heart against slavery

May 10th was chosen as the Day to commemorate Slavery and its abolition. May 10th 2001 is the day on which the French Parliament has approved the Taubira Law, about "the recognition of the transatlantic slave trade and the slavery."

It is a Day dedicated to memory, reflection and questions about this historical tragedy and about all the existing practices akin to slavery.

Albums, films and books to reflect further on ...

Vinyls about slavery and freedom...

  • Follow the drinking gourd is an African American folk song first published in 1928. How did illiterate slaves without any geographical clues succeed to escape their plantations? Informations were related through songs. The Drinking Gourd is another name for the Big Dipper asterism. they had to follow this star to go up North to the abolitionnist states. The Drining Gourd was also a daily used ustensile for drinking while working in the fields.

  • Julie, this song is a dialogue between a slave and her mistress while Northern army is entering the plantation where they live. It is by Rhiannon Giddens,  included in her album Freedom Highway (2017) it was already in her repertoire when she was with the Carolina Chocolate Drops band.
  • Mo Jodi, mesmerizing Caribbean Blues, the song relates how when Napoleon re-established slavery in the French Caribbeans, people chose death rather than slavery, the song title comes from the eponymous album by Delgrès, released in 2018.
  • Freedom impacting indictment song against today's slavery with a punchy rythm and a  hypnotic video, by Pharrell Williams, from his album Freedom (2015)

  • Redemption song cult song about the slave trade, from the album Up Rising by Bob Marley (1980)
  • Lemonade in this album Beyoncé makes the connection between her personal wounds and the resilience of Black women, enslaved in the Louisiana plantations. Singer, composer, she is also the film director of the different movies associated to the album released in 2016.
  • Slave, this album released in 1988 by the Californian punk hard-core band Infest (1986-1996), denounces with violence and anger, slavery, misery, poverty, war, sociopolitical problems and moreover condemns the general passivity.
  • Freedom road, a traditional song by the Blind Boys of Alabama with Robert Randolph, the Family Band and special guest Ben Harper, unfortunately a CD album rather than a vinyl.

Novels about slavery ... 

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, 26 y.o. Ghanean-American writer, who tells us the history of the slave trade and its consequences on both side of the ocean, throught the destiny of two sisters Effia et Esi (2016).
  • Beloved, the novel in which Toni Morrisson writes the story of Sethe, haunted by the ghost of her little girl. She has killed her baby-daughter so that she can escape her slave destiny. Following this novel published in 1987, Toni Morrisson wins the Nobel Price of Litterature in 1993.
  • 12 years a slave, the unbelievable autobiography of Solomon Northup, a Black man, born free and living in New-York, kidnapped and sold to slavers. He became a slave for 12 years in Louisiana before the Civil war (published in 1853).

Films about slavery ...

  • Créole in Love en Louisiane, a documentary film by Gaëlle Corvest about Beyoncé's Lemonade album de Beyoncé, and further on about slavery in the creole plantations and the history of Black slave women (available on ARTE replay until the  04/19/2021)

  • 12 years a slave a movie directed by Steve Mac Queen (II), historical drama about a free Black man kidnapped, stripped of his rights and shangaied to become a slave in the Louisiana plantations (2013)

  • Django Unchained by Quentin Tarentino, an amazing Western in which the hero, a freed slave makes a deal with a German bounty hunter, who releases him. Django accepts to help him track down wanted criminals in exchange with the bounty hunter's help to find his lost and enslaved wife (2013).
The Movie Sound Track is stunning. Here are the tracks:
  1. Winged
  2. Django (Main Theme) - Luis Bacalov, Rocky Roberts
  3. The Braying Mule - Ennio Morricone (tiré du film "Two Mules for Sister Sara")
  4. In That Case, Django, After You...
  5. Lo Chiamavano King (His Name Is King) - Luis Bacalov, Edda Dell'orso
  6. Freedom - Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton
  7. Five-Thousand-Dollar Nigga's And Gummy Mouth Bitches
  8. La Corsa (2Nd Version) - Luis Bacalov
  9. Sneaky Schultz And The Demise Of Sharp
  10. I Got A Name - Jim Croce
  11. I Giorni Dell'ira - Riz Ortolani
  12. 100 Black Coffins - Rick Ross
  13. Nicaragua - Jerry Goldsmith Featuring Pat Metheny
  14. Hildi's Hot Box
  15. Sister Sara's Theme - Ennio Morricone
  16. Ancora Qui - Ennio Morricone And Elisa
  17. Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable) - James Brown And 2Pac
  18. Who Did That To You? - John Legend
  19. Too Old To Die Young - Brother Dege
  20. Stephen The Poker Player
  21. Un Monumento - Ennio Morricone
  22. Six Shots Two Guns
  23. Trinity (Titoli) - Annibale E I Cantori Moderni

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