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The Painful Truth: silencing dissent

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The phrase “truth is an endangered space” opens our upcoming single The Painful Truth, voiced by the late bell hooks and in tribute to her. Using delicately paced soundbites from the visionary author, we aim to reflect a trend in today’s society in which dissenting voices are deliberately and increasingly stifled. Yet there is hope because, as hooks states, ‘people are really hungry for truth.’ That sense of hope is brought to life by a beautifully cinematic, jazz-funk soundscape with horn arrangements by long-time Fold collaborator Emma Johnson.

We are continually impressed by bell hooks’ observations and with each new discovery we feel her loss more keenly. Like me, bell hooks was also a New Yorker. She was a professor at CUNY where my father taught for most of his career. The Painful Truth piece uses excerpts from a 2002 interview that triggers memories for me of how it felt to live in post-911 New York / USA. Dissident voices were ruthlessly silenced. Powerful forces took full advantage of the hurt and fear that people were experiencing.

What bell hooks observed at that time was the beginning of a trend that has only increased since. We are now very much, as she puts it, ‘in danger of silencing any form of speech that goes against what is perceived to be the status quo.’ This is the perspective that we want to amplify right now.

The Painful Truth was released May 26, 2023 on SUBTXT.

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