Adrian Younge released his powerful album The American Negro via his Jazz Is Dead label in February. Today, he shares the powerful story behind the album track “James Mincey Jr” via a video featuring frequent collaborator and friend Loren Oden, Mincey’s nephew. In 1982, James Mincey Jr. became the sixteenth black man in Los Angeles to die from a police chokehold within a seven year period and, after his death, there was a short moratorium placed on the use of chokeholds by the LAPD.
“I wrote the song about my uncle who died as a result of police brutality in 1982,” Oden notes. “This was a very cathartic experience that I am grateful to have had. It’s unfortunate that these things continue to happen today, but it is empowering to know that our voices can not be silenced.” Younge adds, “If these victims were white, would it have taken seven years and 16 lives for a moratorium? Black lives do matter, and these images should remind you of the vestige of slavery.”