Umi Says & Black Liberation

Christopher D. Sims
3 min readDec 15, 2020

I was reminded of this powerful song by Yasin Bey formerly known as Mos Def while listening to a music mix on YouTube Music. That song is Umi Says. It is one of the most revolutionary and impactful songs I have heard as a follower of rap/hip-hop music. When I hear the song it echos through my body and makes my mind feel at ease.

In the age of COVID-19, and through all of the protests, I have this song to lean on when I think of the high rates of death in Black communities all across the United States, and beyond. After this pandemic is behind us, once we are able to not live in as much isolation and fear as we are now, we have a lot more reckoning and healing to do!

“I wan’t Black people to be free, to be free, to be free, to be free the lyrics go.

Over the past three years, and I will again at this end of this year, I have dedicated my life to Black Liberation. Since then I have written multiple poems, articles, and blogs that help me stay focused and committed to the liberation of people of African descent. I cannot stop now, I will not yield. The communities who know me need me now more than ever.

“That’s all that matters to me, that’s all that matters to me Yasin Bey says in the song. I can feel him! I understand. Until we are all free none of us are free!

As a communications expert and marketing professional I landed a job making sure The Goodwin Project has a voice in the households of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois so that people all over these communities have a conversation about race and racism in their households. A team of BIPOC — including myself — spearheaded its development, its existence.

When you see Idris Goodwin — black poet and playwright on this digital ad we use to promote the project, it feels right. It makes me feel whole as I continue to focus on the liberation of people originally from the Mother Land. I am liberated when I share digital media like this knowing it is reaching the right people.

Yasin Bey says “ I don’t wanna right this down, I just wanna tell you how I feel right now.”

Those lyrics have a blues vibe to them, they have a 1920s — 1930s urgency to them when we were still being hung in the United States for being Black. How can you not reflect, but yet feel moved to think, to act?!

“I wan’t Black people to be free, to be free, to be free.” This is my mantra ending these days of December 2020 and heading into 2021. These words are etched into my Black body, my Black mind. As I recognize my allies who I have shared this work with me, we are still doing the work of ending White supremacy and dismantling racism.

“Shine the light for the world to see” is what comes out of my speaker. We all must shine our light. We all most take responsibility in making sure Black people are eventually freed on this planet.

“Black people! My people! I am most thankful for this song, for its beautiful lyrics.



Christopher D. Sims

Writer, performance artist, and activist who writes about racism, anti-Blackness, and human rights struggles. A voice for truth and righteousness.