Singer-songwriter Chris Pierce released his new single “American Silence” on November 9th, a searing indictment of white complacency which particularly resonated in the days following the election of Joe Biden. The stirring folk song looks the listener right in the eye and asks “what are you actually doing for people who don’t look like you?”
In Pierce’s riveting anthem, it’s not the noise, nor the violent counter-protesters who tried to derail peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations this summer, that Pierce interrogates. Pierce’s focus, instead, is on the corrosiveness of inaction, Americans’ tacit acceptance of white supremacy, and the way Black performers are tokenized or ignored. “Will our song arrest you,” Pierce asks. “American silence is a crime.”
Pierce debuted “American Silence” live at our Spark Disruptors event on 11/11/20, performed at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. Here, watch his interview with Spark’s Nic Harcourt and, at the 3:30 mark, his performances of “American Silence” — which NPR called 2020’s “song white allies need to hear” and Rolling Stone called “the sound of everyone who’s hungry for change.” Pierce’s stirring rendition of “It’s Been Burning For a While” is at the 8:40 mark.
Special thanks to the Hotel Cafe. Shot by Al Sgro and edited by Chad Michael Ward.
This post is part of “Disruptors 2020 Election Week” on Sparknetwork.com, in which we’re featuring highlights from our recent Spark Disruptors event that touch on Joe Biden’s historic win, its effect on the economy, and what it means for an America that has never been more ideologically divided and hobbled by inequity. Stay tuned for more highlights throughout the month of December.