30 Days of Iconic Music Video Blackness With VSB, Day 19: Public Enemy, 'Fight The Power'

Illustration for article titled 30 Days of Iconic Music Video Blackness With VSB, Day 19: Public Enemy, Fight The Power
Screenshot: Public Enemy “Fight The Power”

For a song that came out over 30 years ago, Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power”—created for the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s 1989 classic film, Do The Right Thing—remains remarkably resonant even in 2020. We’re still at war with structural racism and all of the issues that existed at the time of the song’s creation are present today. The need to challenge authority and demonstrate the might and will of black voices and freedom is as necessary now as it was then.

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That’s why today’s video, on Juneteenth, is Public Enemy’s video. Juneteenth represents freedom in the Black Community and this song to me represents fighting for the never-ending quest for equality. Plus it jams.

Public Enemy “Fight The Power” (1989)

Opening up with video from the 1963 March on Washington, which was 100 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, “Fight The Power” demonstrated a different type of march, one more aggressive and less polished and respectable. Instead of trying to show the white people that good black folks exist, Public Enemy took on the mantle of black nationalism and looking after our own, and taking what was owed. The imagery they conjure is nothing short of empowering and revolutionary. So on this Juneteenth 2020, the fight marches on in the streets of America in the aftermath of so many police shootings to the point where we have to say names of people we never met so frequently, that they’re all part of our beings. From George Floyd to Breonna Taylor, we must continue to fight the power.

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Meanwhile, I hope you have the day off. I do.

Fight the power.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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DISCUSSION

muddybud
Mud loves everyone except you. You suck

Man... PE. I was aware of them all through high school via my hipper friends. I dug the rebellious sound, young pseudo-punk anarchist metal head that I was. But at the time I could’t really appreciate the production on It Takes a Nation of Millions... so they fell off my radar.

Then like everyone else who saw Do The Right Thing: BOOM!

Then Fear of a Black Planet came out and KA-FUCKING-BOOM!

That album was my Sgt. Peppers, Pet Sounds, The Ramones, and Thriller all rolled into one. I wore that tape out. Then I scratched the CD all to hell. Thank Crom from digital.

And while Fight The Power is rightly considered an all time classic, this IMO is the real steak of the album;