Manage episode 344876207 series 3288434
"Well, I got the idea in 2013 when I was a wee young 23-year-old activist, and I had been studying history at Los Angeles City College, and I took this class on genocide that had a huge impact on me, and it also coincided, just the timing, with the Occupy Wall Street movement. So then two years later in 2013, I was reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and the book is about how mass incarceration is like a modern-day racial caste system. And I just heavily related to the book. I grew up around some impacted people. I had a mentor who was formerly incarcerated named Alexander, who was actually Muhammad Ali's bodyguard.
And I just got the idea to do an album, because I was listening to a lot of concept albums like Pink Floyd, The Wall. And it started from there, just a little seed and a spark of just this idea for this one album. And then over time, it just evolved into an EP, and then a record label and a nonprofit. And here we are."
Fury Young and BL Shirelle are the powerhouse team behind Die Jim Crow Records, the first non-profit record label in United States history for currently and formerly incarcerated musicians. DJC Records’ mission is to dismantle stereotypes around race and prison in America by amplifying the voices of our artists. As a pair, Fury Young and BL Shirelle form a perhaps unlikely, but unstoppable duo. Young is a Jewish New Yorker who has not experienced incarceration. Shirelle is a queer, Black woman from Philadelphia who has been heavily impacted by police violence and incarceration. The two formed an inseparable bond. As friends, musical collaborators and now Co-Executive Directors of Die Jim Crow Records, their leadership and commitment to values of representation, fairness, passion for the cause, and a love for art, are at the core of DJC.