Zeshan Bagewadi reflects his experience as an Indian American Muslim
Indian American singer Zeshan Bagewadi has repurposed George Perkinsâ€™ 1970 song â€œCryinâ€™ in the streetsâ€ as a song for todayâ€™s civil rights struggles, Public Radio International (PRI) reported.
The original song was based on an observation of the Martin Luther King Jrâ€™s funeral, but Bagewadi echoes it as the reflection of his own experiences as a Muslim and Indian American.
â€œâ€™I see somebody marching in the street. I see somebody crying in the street. I see somebody dying in the street.â€™ [I was] struck… how simple it was, how poignant it was,â€ Bagewadi told PRI.
â€œWhat needs to be done here is simple. Us Muslims need to ally ourselves with those who have paved a path for us and who has been on the front line of the struggles. So we need to appropriate their struggle. We need to appropriate the pain,â€ Bagewadi told PRI.
Bagewadi was born to Indian Muslim parents in Chicago. His father was a journalist, one of the few in India to cover the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 70s.
â€œMy father was always drawn to the black artistic expressions and read Lanston Hughes, Zora Hurston,â€ Bagewadi added.
â€œYou listen to Curtis Mayfield sing â€˜people get ready, thereâ€™s a train a comin.â€™ You listen to Mahalia Jackson singing â€˜Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho.â€™ If that doesnâ€™t galvanize you, I donâ€™t know what will,â€ he said.
Music has more power than mere words, he added.