This music video by Milwaukee's Latino youth is the hope we all need right now
Amidst divisive national debate over immigration and policies that separate families, the new student-lead music video "El Color De La Libertad" gives voice to Latino youth, providing a powerful perspective on freedom in the United States.
Watch the made-in-Milwaukee music video below, featuring seventh graders from Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School, MC(mikal), Klassik and Sista Strings.
The product of a collaboration between Jazale’s Art Studio and Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School, El Color De La Libertad (The Color of Freedom) combines the words of Latino seventh grade students with the talents of Milwaukee-based musicians MC(mikal), Klassik, SistaStrings and filmmaker Wes Tank.
Sparked by the 2016 presidential election, Lead Teacher Nora Justin worked closely with Lead Artist Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, who performs under the moniker MC(mikal), to shape an experience that would empower her classroom. Ms. Justin explains, “Prompted by the effect the political climate was having on Alexander Mitchell’s predominantly Latino Student body, I felt it was important to provide space for discussion and to teach my students that their words can be powerful tools of change.”
Using the song "Letter to the Free" by Common as inspiration, Ms. Justin encouraged her students to write about their relationship to the concept of freedom. Guided by MC(mikal), students recorded their most impactful statements over a reinterpretation of "Letter to the Free" produced by hip-hop artist Klassik. Inspired by these recording sessions, MC(mikal) contributed a verse to the song and enlisted Sista Strings to sing the chorus. Sound engineer Moses mastered the track and the students gave it the title, "El Color De La Libertad."
MC(mikal) worked with filmmaker Wes Tank to develop a series of collaborative art making workshops that would also function as music video shoots. These workshops afforded students the opportunity to engage in visual art production, interact with a variety of professional artists and activists, and visit creative spaces around the city. The resulting music video is a beautiful reflection of this unique experience that highlights the students and their powerful message.