A song of our time! Who would have thought that fifty years after its original release this song would still ring so true! Who would want to think that could ever be the case, but Curtis Mayfield’s We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue resonates just as deeply now as it did in 1970!
Noted as being one of the earliest artists to speak out openly about African-American pride and community struggle, Curtis Mayfield’s lyrics reflected the social and political issues rising the black community at that time. As with a lot of his solo work, his later recordings shouted out against systemic oppression and racism; something his music was able to explore more as an individual artist.
We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue was taken from his 1970 debut record, Curtis, which he released via his own label, Curtom Records. Not only did this record allow Mayfield to explore more edgier lyrics, it marked his transition away from the pop-soul sounds of his days with The Impressions, into a more funk/psych influenced realm; this sound got deeper! It’s propelling rhythmic percussion and groove-laden melody envelops a cry for change and that cry remains as poignant as ever! Check it out above.