Today, on the last day of Black History Month, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) released the latest episode of his "Lift Every Voice" podcast featuring Questlove and celebrating the rich history and diversity of African-American music. Spanning the genres of hip hop, jazz, gospel, and more, Booker and Questlove share some of their favorite songs and artists that have defined and reflected the African-American experience, including James Brown, Gil Scott-Heron, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Alberta Hunter. The two also discuss the transformative power music has to change times and people.
"Music is the connective tissue in our society," Booker says in the episode. "It's not only an internal experience, but it's an external connective experience that's really important. These songs have been about the struggle for righteousness, for justice, and [for the] conscience of our country. I know for me, whether it was the coded songs of the underground railroad or the gospel music of the civil rights era, music has played a critical role in our efforts toward building a more just, true America."
"We are connected to each other in pretty intricate ways ... and the best that music often does is remind people of those commonalities," Booker added.
Booker launched the Lift Every Voice podcast last year, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as a way to shine a light on overlooked issues of injustice and inequality and share inspiring stories of change. The podcast features an exclusive recording of the hymn "Lift Every Voiceand Sing" performed by the choir at Bookerâ??s church in Newark, the Metropolitan Baptist Church.