The world is raging. The nation is anguishing. The city is burning. Hatred and injustice were pandemics in this country long before COVID-19 showed up. We are fighting two viruses at the same time. Both have the potential to isolate us from each other or to bring us together in new ways. That is where Sekou Andrews’ newly released video, and accompanying single, for his poem “Love Says” comes in.
Releasing the piece in 2019, for the GRAMMY® award-nominated album Sekou Andrews & The String Theory, poet Sekou Andrews could not have known exactly how soon the piece would reflect the types of injustices that are now being protested across the country, But, as a Black in America, he knew it wouldn’t be long.
Partnering with the incredibly creative agency Optimist Inc., the mission was to make the most beautiful message about what love says.
“It all started when Sekou and The String Theory recorded a song and video in our studios last year. After hearing the powerful words of “Love Says” we knew that we had to focus on exactly that, the words. Any film had to get out of the way and give Sekou the stage to express them. It was an exercise in restraint that left us with the words and the artist, literally,” states Optimist Chief Creative Officer Toygar Bazarkaya.
Sekou says of the poem, “I wish I could say I was inspired to write it by this latest act of racial violence that is setting our nation aflame. Just as the knee of systemic racism has been asphyxiating Black people long before the murder of George Floyd, this poem was inspired long before.”
There has been a constant theme of violence in America against people of color but, more specifically, Black men and women. From the ills of slavery that started in the 1600s to 2020s COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-existing police brutality, Black folks get the short end of the stick.