The video for Jada Imani’s “Rosa Parks” features black-and-white footage of civil rights-era marches spliced with modern-day shots of Imani sitting at a bus stop in West Oakland. At times she’s joyously dancing. In another instance Imani stares deadpan into the camera, a look that conveys more emotion than words.
“It’s very confrontational,” Jada Imani tells me, noting the intended target of the glare are the folks who uphold the construct of white supremacy. Imani, who is originally from East St. Louis and raised in Oakland, says, “Black folks have been leading cultural and systemic revolutions for so long, and we’re still here and there’s still something to say. We’re not done.”
The video, directed by Zoe Mountain and shot by Dorean Raye, combines the piercing gaze with Imani’s dancing jubilation, as well as archival footage of Black women smiling and putting their feet in the pool on the Washington Mall. It’s a complementary aesthetic for a track that has a classy, swing-jazz vibe with a modern, glossy R&B finish.
The song, which originally started off as a freestyle, features the guitar of Misa James and was produced by Will Randolph V. It’s featured on Imani’s latest EP JUBILEE II.