Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, Drops a Powerful Music Video Demanding Change

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Some mayors dance around the core challenges of the moment, while other mayors dance—and sing, and rally—to meet them. Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, released a video for “What We Want,” his recent EP’s title track. He appears onstage with dancers and musicians as he performs his poem outlining change. “Quality education” and “free housing” are written across dancers’ cheeks, and the mayor demands freedom: “Not just the bill of rights / But rights to build our own lives.”

“We need more than justice…We need an overhaul of our systems,” Baraka says. It’s the theme song of the upcoming documentary Why Is We Americans?, about his famed family’s history of social activism and art. His father, Amiri Baraka, initiated the powerful Black Arts Movement in the mid-1960s, after the assassination of Malcom X, and Ras’ mother, Amina Baraka, is a community-building poet, dancer, and singer. Catch the mayor’s video.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate