HARI In-House Blog

Submitted by dvartikar on

Today, on June 19th - otherwise known as “Juneteenth” - we celebrate the 155th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the United States. As we commemorate the freedom, struggle, and black liberation of today, we must also consider the ways in which the fight for freedom continues. In recognizing how far we have come, we must also shine light to the continuation of the efforts to achieve black liberation in the century and a half following the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. To both highlight the celebration of this day and acknowledge the work that continues to be done, we have curated a playlist that features songs of hope and freedom as we recognize the change that has happened and the change that needs to happen.


Les McCan and Eddie Harris - “Compared to What” [Swiss Movement, 1969]

Jean Grae – “Keep Livin’” [The Bootleg of the Bootleg, 2003] 

Sweet Honey in the Rock - “We are the Ones” [Twenty-Five, 1998]

The Staple Singers – “I’ll Take You There” [Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, 1972] 

Esperanza Spalding – “Black Gold” [Radio Music Society, 2012] 

NAS – “One Mic” [The American Epic Sessions, 2001]

NAS – “If I Ruled the World” [It Was Written, 1996] 

NAS “The World is Yours” [Illmatic, 1994] 

J Cole – “G.O.M.D.” [2014 Forest Hills Drive, 2014]

Talib Kweli - “For Women” [Train of Thought, 2000]

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth- “They Reminisce Over You” [Mecca and the Soul Brother, 1992]

Earth Wind and Fire - “Keep Your Head to the Sky” [Head to the Sky, 1973]

Ice Cube – “It Was a Good Day” [The Predator, 1992] 

Five Stairsteps  - “O-o-h Child” [Step by Step by Step, 1970]

Rapsody – “Aaliyah,” “Maya” [Eve, 2019]

Earth Wind and Fire  - “Devotion (Live)” [Open Our Eyes, 1974]

Beyonce – “Freedom” [Lemonade (2016)]

Souls of Mischief  - “93 ‘til Infinity” [93 ‘til Infinity, 1993]

Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff - “Summertime” [Summertime, 1991]

Too $hort - “I Want to Be Free (That’s the Truth)” [Shorty the Pimp, 1992]

Dead Prez - “Police State” [Let’s Get Free, 2000]

2Pac – “Keep Ya Head Up” [Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993]

Naughty by Nature – “Why Me? (Ghetto Bastard)” [Naughty by Nature, 1991]

Mystic – Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom [2001]