To commemorate Juneteenth, two excellent Richmond musicians have released a special track to celebrate the fact that “we’re still here.”
It’s Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned that the Civil War was over, and that they were free. In light of the struggles against police violence and structural racism that have been going on for weeks here in Richmond, this Juneteenth takes on an increased significance — one that was marked yesterday by Governor Ralph Northam as he declared his intent to make Juneteenth a permanent state holiday in Virginia.
We’ve already brought you a massive collection of excellent Black American music to celebrate this holiday, courtesy of Richmond music scene leader Reggie Pace, but we wanted to shine a special spotlight on a terrific new track (also available on Reggie’s playlist) from two other Richmond musicians that was released today to commemorate the holiday. Calvin Presents and Sam Reed have been gifting Richmond with excellent soulful R&B sounds for years, both on their own and with various local ensembles. Now they’ve joined forces to bring us “Here,” a celebratory jam with an irresistibly joyful hook. Calvin Presents calls the song “an ode to Black joy. An affirmation of Black lives. A reminder to imagine as fiercely as we fight.”
In a time when racist violence against Black Americans by the police and the American system continues despite over a century of struggles for civil rights, Calvin Presents and Sam Reed offer a simple, powerful invocation: “Let’s celebrate. You’re still here. I’m still here.”
“Here” can be streamed and downloaded at Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube. To get your copy, click here.
Photo via Calvin Presents/Bandcamp. Shout out to Ant the Symbol for bringing this to our attention.