D’Angelo Talks Activism and Music with Bobby Seale


The artist invited a New York Times reporter to come along as he met one of his heroes: activist and former Black Panther Bobby Seale. Seale and D’Angelo talked extending the Black Lives Matter movement beyond the immediate moment, not letting the examination of violence within law enforcement only amount to a hashtag. In the interview, D’Angelo is giddy, explaining that “it’s very rare you get to meet one of your heroes,” referencing Seale, who co-founded the Black Panthers and acted as a spokesman for the group until he renounced violence in 1974, leaving the Panthers to seek activism through nonviolent channels. The artist’s most recent record, Black Messiah, approaches the issue of racial injustice directly, written in response to Michael Brown’s death and with the hopes of furthering the demand for change. You can read the full interview here, find more on D’Angelo’s intent behind Black Messiah in his interview with Rolling Stone, check out our enthusiasm for the album that was fourteen years in the waiting, and read a track-by-track review of Black Messiah via Stereogum.

Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →