Nearly 50 years later, Devon Gilfillian recreates Marvin Gaye’s momentous album What’s Going On. The original is timeless, but it’s that very timelessness that cuts so deep—that can make it feel like a double-edged sword.
While originally conceived as a response to the police brutality, and persistent racial tension and disparities following the Vietnam War, Gilfillian’s reproduction serves as a reminder of the deep rooted issues African Americans continue to battle in the United States.
But this is not just an album of despair, it is also an album of hope. Of power. Of justice. And that is all reembodied again through Gilfillian’s celebration and spotlighting of contemporary Black voices on the album.
The joy. The optimism. The energy. We must always invest in children, schools, and the arts.