"Revisiting the musical tributes to Amadou Diallo"
In the wake of the current reckoning on police violence against African Americans; the resultant protests and calls to action; and even the recent rounds of protest songs being released (Keedron Bryant, H.E.R., Anderson .Paak, Beyonce, etc.), I was reminded of how the killing of Amadou Diallo prompted a number of musical tributes.
I remember realizing years ago that several artists – some of my favorite artists in fact – had made songs specifically in tribute to Diallo. Not about police violence or police murders writ large, but in specific tribute to Diallo the man. And that they varied in tone, soundscape, structure, and theme.
Obviously, no musical tribute could fully comfort his family or erase his loss. And I know these artists weren’t personal friends of his, but to see him regarded by public figures – even in some small way – as a fully realized human being whose life was senselessly and tragically taken made him seem larger than just a statistic, news headline, or “latest victim.”