This episode features part two of host Lola Wright’s conversation with Saul Williams.
Saul Williams has traveled the world as an artist, activist, and provocateur of deeper and more comprehensive thought patterns. Much of Saul’s music is based on political activism and protest, but in this conversation he describes a project that stretched beyond his usual areas of focus. He says, “I decided to work on this album called Volcanic Sunlight where I just wanted to acknowledge that there were a lot of other emotions flowing through me beyond this dissection of race and class… and I just wanted to express the love that I feel, because in fact everything that I’ve ever said has come out of love.”
They also discuss an increase of Christianity in hip hop. Saul says, “It’s great to have your faith and… what moves you, that’s wonderful. But when I think of that projected, when our military is in predominantly Islamic countries firing weapons and operating on Christian principles out loud, you know? Conflating terrorism and Islam, and rappers are like ‘my God is the greatest God’… from America, I’m like, ‘okay, are you making specifically music for the soldiers to sing along to so they can feel comfortable as they shoot these black and brown kids around the world?’”
They also discuss some of the repercussions of conservative Christianity’s exportation to other countries, including efforts to promote an anti-gay law in Uganda. The Netflix series The Family also documents and explores this gross practice in America’s recent past.
Lola and Saul discuss the upcoming presidential election, and how the 2016 election inspired Lola to begin the project Normal white people. “Using real and untold American history, current events and self-reflection, participants are committed to uncovering personal biases, discovering the changes necessary within the participant, and creating a personal path of inspired action that moves the evolutionary impulse of humanity toward a loving and just global society.”
Saul makes an impassioned argument for Americans to learn the true, untold history of the country and its founding. One source we recommend for further reading is Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.