At first listen, Leon Bridge's song "Coming Home" can be described as a soulful ode to a woman who Leon deems wonderfully unique; the sole subject of his innermost feelings. However, given the artistic value of the song, the muse described throughout the ballad can either be a literal woman or Leon's hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. This apparent ambiguity coupled with the many connotations that we associate with the word "home" opens the way to discussing this theme in its physical, mental and spiritual layers.
I had the inestimable privilege of teaming up with my brothers Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette, and Rog Walker to flesh out their vision for the VSCO assisted short film. With direct inspiration from Leon's "Coming Home" title track juxtaposed to the historical aspects of the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse, which served as the venue for the project, I wrote and performed a poem that explores the idea of "home" in light of the racial inequalities that continue to be perpetuated in America's legal system.
In my opinion, the blatant disregard for human rights based on racial differences is the poisonous soil upon which America was established. Nonetheless, we must also acknowledge that injustices of this kind have worldwide implications. Millions of individuals across the globe are not able to enjoy the warm embrace of family members, the freedom to take a walk down the street or the God-given right to live without being hunted as prey, simply because their human features differ from that of their fellow man. It's a protracted issue that pains everyone who does well to nuture their sense of justice. And yet, despite all that is wrong with the world today, I have hope that there will come a time when we're all able to live on an earth that feels like home. "...And the former things will not be called to mind."
The judge said, "You’re free to go.”
It’s been 5 years, wrongly accused, no parole.
But the gavel to the sound block creates vibrations
Strong enough to break the shackles from off his bones.
He calls up his wife and tells her, “Baby, I’m coming home.”
She weeps, knowing that men adorning shades of his skin tone
Rarely make it back to the comforts of their living room
To hear the laughter of children whom they call their own.
Home is where shower solos are sung in falsetto
For the water reminds us of the beauty in baptism.
And assures us that love will always rule as conqueror
Even in the face of perceived defeat.
He kisses all ten of her fingers
After being nourished from a meal his soul had sorely missed.
They dance, eyes closed, barefoot on kitchen tiles,
Choreographed by the pulse beating in their palms.
The same ones used to pray for the boys homesick in prison yards
And the families who’ll wait in vain for their sons
Who won’t make it home today.