blacker face’s “my life matters” video teaches through myth

September 19, 2019
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Chicago’s Blacker Face is back with a video for “My Life Matters,” a song inspired by the police shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald and the attempts of those who would shout down and diminish the rallying cry of “Black lives matter!” with the banal and subtly racist response of “All lives matter!”

In the stark black and white video for the song, director/producer Harley Foos uses allegory to reflect the absurdities and injustices of white supremacy and late-stage capitalism in a funhouse mirror.

“The video shows a nation in which milk is a currency, a resource, and a luxury — a totalizing force. In this nation, there is a mysterious illness circulating that does not discriminate by race or class. The nation’s Leader assures her subjects that white chalk and milk are the cures for the illness. The Leader, in whiteface, is beloved, the artificial skin elevating her method and ideology to a universal truth. Her sick followers slather their sores in the chalk, while her healthy followers signify their allegiance to their Leader with stripes of chalk down their forehead. The milk and the white chalk stand-in for both commonplace and high ritualistic representations of white supremacist ideology. The illness becomes a cipher for environmental collapse and consequent disaster fascism. Displays of conspicuous consumption (of milk and chalk) are abstractions of the might-makes-right posturing that plagues our own nation. But, as with the apolitical, edgy slogans that our ubiquitous reactionary demagogues drool (our 45th president comes to mind, of course), these articles contain a multitude, perhaps to occult a cruel, ineffable truth with something like irony.”

Blacker Face’s album, Distinctive Juju, funded in part by a grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), drops on Sooper Records on October 10th.