The names of victims killed by aggressive policing seems to be adding up, year after year.
In response to the violence, Jessica Anderson better known as Jessica Lá Rel wrote a song of encouragement titled “#WeCantBreath”. The Chicago songstress debuted the song on what would have been Eric Garner’s, the unarmed New York man assaulted by police officers outside of convenience store, birthday.
“In honor of Eric Garner, who would’ve been 46 today,” Jessica says in the Facebook post. “In honor of Renisha McBride, Sandra Bland, Alan Blueford, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice— all the Black lives stolen at the hands of state sanctioned violence… this is for you.”
A Stanford University graduate, Jessica credits the black church for being the launching pad for her passion for music. Having an activist spirit, she’s performed for Nikki Giovanni and Nate Parker this year.
In her bio she notes: Lá Rel embraces an approach to music called alternative Soul, which she describes as: “[honoring] the past while connecting with the present and future of the genre [soul].” Her musical influences attest to this as she reminisces on listening to her mother’s vinyl records as a child, memorizing lyrics by Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Nina Simone, and Sarah Vaughn.
“We aint gonna stop, till people are free,” she sings in the emotional ballad.
Check it out in the video, above!