Originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music
In Virginia, back in 1759, a white Scottish servant named Elizabeth Gallimore fell in love with a black slave whose name had been lost over time. Their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, who performs under the pseudonym Fantastic Negrito, has released a compelling concept album, “White Jesus Black Problems,” based on his recently discovered lineage.
The ambitious multimedia project includes a companion film, and Fantastic Negrito says the project was produced to challenge a popular narrative around polarization.
“There’s a feeling out there right now that we can’t get anything done because we’re so polarized, so
entrenched in our ideologies and unmoved by facts or logic, but I wanted to share this story because I
think it smashes that narrative to pieces,” Fantastic Negrito declared. “I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors, both Black and white, who showed me that anything is possible. There was a lot of ugliness in their story, but there was a lot of beauty, too, because in the end, perseverance overcame.”
“Man with No Name,” which appears on the album, is a painful reminder that often the identity and experiences of the oppressed are erased.
With the song (and album), the stories of the courageous forgotten are reclaimed and finally told. The message, “I keep moving on,” encourages perseverance even when it is difficult to be hopeful.