Yesterday (May 25), SANKOFA.org (the social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte) has announced their official visual collaboration with Grammy Award-Winning singer/songwriter, Elijah Blake, a striking and controversial music video to the single “Hanging Tree.”
“Hanging Tree,” written/produced by Blake and directed by Sean Alexander, is a visual that showcases the injustices in a corrupt socioeconomic system. In an exclusive conversation with Billboard.com, Blake states: “You can dress up an ugly system with a suit and tie but as society and media continues to tear away at it.. underneath it all the fact still remains there’s still a whole lot of scarring, bruising and blood that our people need to heal from. I also wanted show that although we’ve come a long way as a black people. We’re still not as far from the corruption in regards to black lives that occurred in slavery as some would like to believe.”
“Hanging Tree” first appeared as a snippet visual on Sankofa.org’s visual EP 17, which featured music by artists Ty Dolla $ign, Raphael Saadiq, Mali Music as well as Elijah Blake. The visual EP, which made its official February 17th premiere on TIDAL, seeks to raise funds to support grassroots organizing efforts around issues of racial and social justice.
“Hanging Tree” will be available exclusively on VEVO June 1st. Watch the trailer below: