Police Violence Against Black people Must END: Honoring Tyre Nichols

Last Friday, as you all probably well know, the Memphis PD released video of the murder of Tyre Nichols, the unarmed 29-yr old Black man who was killed in Memphis by members of the Memphis PD.  He was beaten by them, without aid, and died 3 days later in the hospital (https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/28/us/tyre-nichols-beating-video-takeaways/index.html).  The police officers involved in his murder were also Black, making this case even more complex.

First reading about this case, I felt sad, disgusted, angry, helpless, and powerless.  I also started to think about how the officers in the case, the suspects, were Black too.  They have internalized violence and inflicted it on to fellow Black people.  I reflected upon the idea of the internalization of the aggressor, the aggressor in this case being the institution of chattel slavery and the slave owners who were brutal and violent towards Blacks.  With the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves were freed, yet we know they were not.  Jim Crow laws codified segregation, and resulted in more violence by whites against Black people.  It seems as though these Memphis Police officers in this case probably internalized such a negative view of Black people, due to the historical origins of slavery, structuralized, systemic racism, and due to continued witnessing of white people being violent to Black people.  In addition, our society has vilified and degraded Black men especially.  Black men are vulnerable.  And so, these Black police officers then beat to death Tyre Nichols, a young soul just entering the prime of his life.  All of it is tragic, and all of it is resultant from what the institution of slavery did to this country.  We are living out the vestiges of it now.  Some might call it karma.  And it is all of our faults.

I feel heartbroken with the case of Tyre Nichols, as his parents, family, and friends are now having to grieve him, something they never should have had to do.  As a mother, I am outraged by what happened to him, what his parents have to bear.  What can I do about police violence against Black people? What can you do? Sometimes I feel hopeless. But I will continue to work on my own unconscious biases and my white conditioning.  I will continue to pray and meditate, which always helps me.  And I will return to jazz.  Jazz, a gift to the world from Black America, an internationally recognized form of high art.  Jazz, which always nourishes me, and you too, through good times and bad.  May Jazz Therapy soothe your soul.

Jazz Therapy Weekly Meditation

In this week’s meditation, we will:

-Send loving energy to soul of Tyre Nichols

-Send healing energy to the family of Tyre Nichols in their grief

-Send healing energy to officers who killed Tyre Nichols

Jazz Therapy Playlist: Honoring Tyre Nichols

Emotional Dwelling (To Mirror Your Mood)

“Willow Weep for Me, Roy Eldridge

This tune, melancholy and yearning, captures my feelings about the murder of Tyre Nichols.  We weep for his death, and yet we continue to hope that violence against Black people is over.

Emotional Elevation (To Feel Better)

“Perdido,” Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges

The combination of Eldridge, and in particular, Hawkins (he is my absolute favorite) is incredible.  What a concert this must have been to witness.  Listen to this tune, and you will feel your soul revived.

Emotional Reverie (To Dream and Remember)

“Round Midnight,” Samara Joy

Samara Joy is a jazz genius, and she’s all of 23! She is up for two Grammy nominations, and I can’t wait to see what else she will do in her career.  Her cover of this Miles Davis tune is dreamy, sumptuous, and so fresh and modern at the same time.  Listen to the entire album if you can!

Emotional Innovation (To Experience Something New)

“It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got that Swing,” Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz

To hear this tune, with the innovative sound of Dizzy, one of the preeminent figures of be-bop, and the warm, breezy tone of Getz covering this tune, is truly something unique. 

Jazz Birthdays Each week, we will highlight birthdays of jazz performers around the world.  We are grateful they exist!

Roy Eldridge (January 30, 1911 – February 26, 1989)
One of the most important jazz trumpeters of all time, he worked with many of the greats, and was a big influence on Dizzy Gillespie.  His work with tenor sax player Coleman Hawkins is unparalleled, as these two virtuosos pushed each other to even greater heights in their musical collaborations.  The regal sound he produced stands the test of time.    

Stan Getz (February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991)
This American tenor sax player was known for his warm, light sound, as his biggest musical influence was Lester Young.  His music always makes you feel like you are on vacation, on a breezy beach, without a care in the world.  Music to dream by, music to be caught up in reverie; loveliness all around.

Thank you for reading! Leave us a comment, subscribe, and share.  May Jazz Therapy soothe your soul.


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