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Songs of Freedom: The New York Civil Liberties Union’s Protest Song Contest


We are pleased to announce the 2018 Songs of Freedom contest winner:

“I Can’t Breathe” by The Peace Poets

About The Peace Poets:
Grounded in the power of personal narratives and community, The Peace Poets create and have shared Spoken Word poetry, rap, and Movement Music that responds to social and political crisis in over 40 countries. The Peace Poets are a family born of hip hop, heart, and hope in New York City.  Some have been friends since as early as three years old and over time they have built an artist collective of poets, hip hop performers, and educators founded on this friendship and their common love for community and creative expression.

The Peace Poets song, I Can’t Breathe, written in protest of Eric Garner’s murder by the NYPD continued to go viral as actorSamuel L. Jackson, recorded himself singing I Can’t Breathe, and was quoted by USA Today “challenging his fellow celebrities and others to sing what’s becoming the anthem of the anti-police brutality movement.”  Rachel Maddow has said of one of their songs, that it was “…so beautiful that it might be the end of, ‘hey hey ho ho…’”

The Peace Poets have made an indelible mark on the social movements of our times by supporting the re-emergence of the art of collective singing in action. These poets and emcees turn stages and streets into profoundly human gatherings, where all are invited to become the creators of a world worthy of all future generations.

Find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Watch the winning entry:

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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Civil Liberties Union