“Gospel,” Jen Chapin’s understated anthem, celebrates the hard and sometimes dangerous work of grassroots democracy; organizing, strategizing, and marching to achieve a more just society and economy from Selma to the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street to People’s Climate March and the current movement for police accountability and the end to racial profiling.
“The song grew out of my participating in the ‘Farmers March’ of Occupy Wall Street,” Jen explains, “and how that effort brought together small farmers from across the country with urban gardeners and food justice advocates in NYC and all the web of concerns — sustainability, fair wages, nutrition, a reckless financial system, etc. — connecting them. I believe people are connecting the dots as never before, recognizing old destructive patterns and making new alliances and creative, constructive responses.”
As Dr. King famously said in his controversial 1967 speech at Riverside Church: “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” The song, “Gospel” and its video are born of the belief that the shift is — however laboriously, painfully and joyfully — underway.
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