Healing Racial Tension with Music and Lyrics
David Bailey founded the Urban Doxology Songwriting Internship to invest in young people and create new culture by helping them write songs that facilitate healing and justice. They write songs of healing, songs of hope, songs that will help to bring people together in unity.
“We have two choices: either we could be a part of the problem or we can be part of the solution,” he explains.
Promoting unity through songwriting.
David Bailey: My Name is David Bailey. I’m the Executive Director of Arrabon. It’s a ministry based in the neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia.
I am the founder of the Urban Doxology Songwriting Internship.
David brings young people together to learn how to write and craft songs.
(soulful singing in the background)
We’ve been doing this internship for eight summers and over the last five summers, starting with Trayvon Martin, there has been a shooting of an African American young man. You had the Charleston Nine, you had the shooting on the police officers. In 2017 you have the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally where you had white men and women carrying torches in the middle of the night.
A friend of mine said it this way, that, “In our country, the racial temperature’s always at a simmer and there’s an incident that kind of takes it up to a boiling point.”
The way we turn the temperature down is by bringing people together, but not just only so that we could talk about something — we actually have to do something. Investing in young people to create new culture, to see the kind of vision of the future that they want to see, to help write songs that help them facilitate that, is a way forward that I realized like, “Man, this is what we could do to help make tomorrow better by what we do today.”
So for eight weeks, they’re studying and learning about reconciliation and justice and some of the problems that are going on in the world. Instead of having them to write papers, what we do is we have them to write songs — songs of healing, songs of hope, songs that will help to bring people together in unity. And you kind of give people an outlook that would give them a longevity for the fight towards peace and justice that we need to see in the world.
And they get a vision of reconciliation. They get a vision of what does it look like to have an economically and racially diverse community that’s flourishing. And that’s just, it’s priceless. I mean, it’s really priceless.
We have two choices: either we could be a part of the problem or we can be part of the solution. And each of us has a piece to play and therefore we work together and create a beautiful picture of what we hope to see in the world.
(muffled smooth pop music)