A feel for lifeWednesday, June 16, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
LAST month marked the first anniversary of George Floyd's death. It was a dark milestone that reminded the world about how prevalent racism is in developed countries like the United States.
Singer Jahwaylife has lived long enough in that country to feel the tentacles of discrimination. He shows empathy with others who have been in a similar position on Feel it For You, his latest song.
Produced by Jamruss Productions, it is the lead single from his album of the same name. While the Floyd incident angered him, Jahwaylife said it was another racially-charged tragedy that inspired Feel it For You.
“That occurred in 2012 when George Zimmerman gunned down an innocent 17-year-old Trayvon Martin; it was unfair and without reasonable cause,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “It made me angry listening as the verdict was read.”
Martin was killed by Zimmermann, a 28-year-old of white/Hispanic heritage while walking in a neighbourhood in Sanford, central Florida. Zimmermann had called the police and reported that the teen, who was wearing a hoody, looked suspicious.
Like the Floyd incident, Martin's death drew worldwide condemnation. Zimmermann was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter 18 months later.
Jahwaylife, who was raised in Spanish Town, lives in Florida. He says he has experienced racial profiling, a term usually describing misguided tracking of black persons by police officers.
“Driving while black in my neighbourhood, I'd often see cops following me until I got to my destination, pulled up in my driveway then they'd continue on their way. This has happened few times (and) it's certainly an uncomfortable feeling,” he said.
Feel it For You, the album, was released in April. Jahwaylife released his first song, Hypocrite, in 2020.
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