We put visionary Chicago R&B singer Jamila Woods’ LEGACY! LEGACY! on our list of the year’s best albums so far because damn, haven’t you heard the thing? Every song on the album is named for one of Woods’ black and brown predecessors. The Nico Segal collab “Baldwin,” for instance, is inspired by James Baldwin’s “A Letter to My Nephew.” Today the song gets a video in which an abandoned Chicago public school is reimagined as a Hogwarts for the young black community.
The song is inspired by James Baldwin’s “Letter to My Nephew.” In that spirit the film revolves around a group of Black youth in an imagined school on Chicago’s South Side, like Hogwarts — but Black. To outsiders, the school appears to be abandoned – one of the 50 public schools closed under Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s watch in 2013. However, for Black people in the neighborhood this space is a gem, an oasis of Black learning and radical education for young people. We shot part of the film documentary-style, to include young people’s perspectives on what they would want their dream school to be like.
LEGACY! LEGACY! is out now on Jagjaguwar/Closed Sessions. Buy and stream it here.