“Shining” takes you 100-years back to Black Wall Street’s golden age

"Shining" takes you 100-years back to Black Wall Street's golden age

Fire in Little Africa’s first single and video release from their debut album, “Shining”, feat. Steph Simon, Dialtone, Ayilla, Jerica, took me out in the best of ways. 

“Shining” gives the viewer a glimpse 100-years into Greenwood’s past, showcasing the Black wealth and excellence that existed pre-massacre. What makes the music video all the more authentic is its filming location: the historic Greenwood District, known as Black Wall Street. 

Reasonably, I could be biased or overly emotional because I’m a Greenwood descendant. My family owned homes and businesses in the Greenwood District during its golden age. Moreover, a few years ago, a community historian shared how my great-grandfather and second-great grandfather ran a juke joint where moonshine was poured and dice shot behind their shoeshine parley — Mr. Cherry’s Shoeshine.

Hence, the Fire in Little Africa music video depicts that very nightlife in a once-thriving Black mecca. 

The opening scene  made me instantly think of the late Wayman Tisdal; perhaps it was a way to homage our hometown hero. If it was done unintentionally by the video’s director, maybe it was the famous NBA star turned celebrated bass guitar player’s way of sending us all a message — that he’s proud of North Tulsa and still with us.

Greenwood was the wealthiest Black community in the African diaspora until it was destroyed by racial hatred in 1921. All 36-blocks were leveled after an angry White mob pillaged, burned, and bombed Black Wall Street to dust, massacring 300 plus Black inhabitants.

As a descendant, “Shining” gives us an audio glimpse of the chaos, which perhaps is a lead into Fire in Little Africa’s next music video.  I’ll be waiting for the next film drop. 

“Shining’s” lyrics are raw and aren’t for mere entertainment but celebrates a long-buried history kept from Black America, with the hope of ‘never allowing little Africa to happen again.’ 

Black Wall Street’s collective Black pride in the 1920 was seen as a threat the White status quo. 

Although the community was rebuilt after the Massacre but destroyed again during urban ‘removal’ as shady land sales between the City of Tulsa and possibly some corrupted Greenwood Chamber members took place during the ’70s and ’80s, small wins kept its descendants ‘shining’ on, Stephe Simon artistically explains in the video. 

“Crazy, I’m off in Tate Brady kitchen; Writing up a million-dollar mission; Bout to turn this whole house into a business,” Stephe articulates.

Oral history points to Tate Brady as one of the original architects of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Brady was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and once owned the mansion (modeled after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Virginia home) where much of Fire in Little Africa recorded its debut album. Today, the mansion is now owned by former NFL player and record label owner Felix Jones, a Black North Tulsan.

The video and lyrics are full of intentional symbolism that triggers a broad spectrum of emotions. At least for me, it did. 

But I won’t give too much away. 

Check out the video below and pre-order the 21-track collection, set to be released on May 31st. 

Music Video

Social Media

Connect with Fire in Little Africa:

https://linktr.ee/fireinlittleafrica

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https://twitter.com/FireInTulsa

https://www.tiktok.com/@fireinlittlea…

Lyrics

Stream/Download Fire in Little Africa “Shining” here: https://FILA.lnk.to/Shining

Fire in Little Africa “Shining” Lyrics:

(Hook)

(STEPH SIMON)

Like a fresh pair of penny loafers with the polish on it Tell ‘em keep on shining

Like a diamond on yo pinky when you sippin pinot grigi (pinot grigio)

Tell ‘em keep on shining (yeah yeah)

Always knew you had that glow but now they see it from the coast

Tell ‘em keep on shining

They gon’ keep on sleeping on you till they see that

Roley on you Tell ‘em keep on shining

Crazy, I’m off in Tate Brady kitchen

Writing up a million-dollar mission

Bout to turn this whole house into a business

They asked me how you did it

I came up off reverse racism

If these walls could talk they would tell you that’s a cold nigga

Paint pictures over rhythms make ya soul shiver

I’m on my fifth summa

My stock risen my best clients invest in him it’s gone be a long winter

Cause I’m still winning

The jig is up the smoke clearing for those that’s been pretending

When I walk in the building gimme my space like an indention

To put this city in position that was my intention

We not the same and I put that on my search history

A little porn mixed with links on how to run a business

You know Steph gone keep it realistic

And how to profit off non-profits we poppin’ Jimmi keep on shining

(Hook)

Like a fresh pair of penny loafers with the polish on it

Tell ‘em keep on shining

Like a diamond on yo pinky when you sippin pinot grigi (pinot grigio)

Tell ‘em keep on shining (yeah yeah)

Always knew you had that glow but now they see it from the coast

Tell ‘em keep on shining

They gon’ keep on sleeping on you till they see that Roley on you

Tell ‘em keep on shining

(Verse 2)

(DIALTONE)

Ice cold Trillions tied to my soul I won’t fold

They can try to poke holes

But the story is authentic

Into my purpose I jumped and dove in it

City filled up with gems so we shine on

I closed that chapter my nigga

I had to move on 300 deaths

I guess that’s how the story go

I guess they didn’t mention that Jane Doe Jane Doe Jane Doe

We pull up Jay Z 2003 and then we change clothes

Shining like I’m fresh off parole

This like fresh veggies for the soul

They want desserts I tell them take that shit to go

And I keep on shining

(AYILLA)

Killing us off

Killing us softly

They could never really tell us what the cost mean

Meanwhile they distract us by the false screens

Tell me what it all means

Tell me what it all means

(Verse 3)

(JERICA)

Picture this Greenwood Ave

Red man’s land

See the brilliance built by a black man’s hand

It was For us By us False Prop[aganda] plot us

Hold up!

Try us!

Peg leg got us

We radiate

These jewels cost this shine ain’t free

And for a buck they twist the rubric of our history

But we’re what it looks like when we got our own backs

And we’re what it looks like when we build it back

Black We’re what it looks like in a hundred years time

Got the audacity to walk up out these ashes and shine

We shining!

#FireInLittleAfrica #Shining

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