Hanif Abdurraqib on the Generous Music of Protest Chants

June 15, 2020

On GEN, poet and author Hanif Abdurraqib reflects on the empowering sounds of protest chants and the ways it gives purpose to movements. “The protest chant is generous music: It can pull someone to exactly where they need to be, even when they don’t always know if they have the energy to make it there. One weekend before this one, when the police rolled their SWAT tanks into the streets and tried to shout down the masses over their loudspeakers, it was the people united who drowned them out. A better, sweeter sound swallowing a wave of horrible noise.”

Image credit: Hanif Abdurraqib

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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