This a cappella song was written and performed by 12-year old gospel singer Keedron Bryant, and uploaded to Instagram in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. In the song, Bryant plaintively sings about the difficulties growing up as a young Black man. His post on Instagram stated, “just singing what’s on my heart…hope this blesses someone🙏🏾” The video (and Bryant), which went viral soon after its posting, received praise from former President Barak Obama as well as many activists, thought leaders, and celebrities. It also inspired remixes, like this one by Will-i-am, which puts Keedron’s original video in a broader social and historical context.
What is Keedron Bryant singing about? How and why does he compare his own personal story (as a young Black man) with that of “his people”?
What does he mean when he says he’s being “hunted as prey”? And why is the song called, “I just want to live”? Given Keedron’s age, what kind of impact do these statements have?
What do you think about the a cappella form of singing? Why is this a powerful mode of presentation? How does it help convey Keedron’s message?
Do you think social media can be an effective way to share your voice on social and political issues? How can you use your personal talents or creativity to convey a message to the world?