Hack 6

All this recent news and discussion about Freddie Gray, the continuation of Ferguson’s Protest, and the murder of Eric Garner is brought to a very ambiguous light in Rihanna’s new song “American Oxygen.” Now granted, she doesn’t directly cite these events in her lyrics–at least not obviously–but there is a clear distinction between the time of the song’s release and of recent events. Also, the music video itself presents pictures from the Ferguson protests, among other things in recent media. There’s been so much coverage and conversation about these protests and about these topics of police brutality and the outcome of future youth that it was only a matter of time before a major-standing artist like Rihanna wrote a song about it. Groundbreaking clips of history are featured in her song, such as Obama’s inauguration, Martin Luther King’s Selma to Montgomery march, 9/11, and the Black Power salute in the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Vanessa Rodriguez

Section 1, History 110, Group 3

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