Youth artists and producers from the RYSE center in Richmond, CA wrote, recorded and filmed “Black Bus” to underscore the historical context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The lyrics (“Sitting in the back for too long / To the front of the bus!”) channel Rosa Parks, whose refusal to sit in the back of the bus became a metaphor for the civil rights movement. The song references figures from Harriet Tubman to Oscar Grant and has an air that combines celebration and protest. “This is my redemption… mentally, physically / Give [my people] back their purity / blood vessels through the poetry / ready to abolish mental slavery.”
RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice that build youth power for young people to love, learn, educate, heal and transform lives and communities.