‘Die Jim Crow:’ Bushwick artist releases project with incarcerated artists

A Bushwick artist is on a mission to open eyes and inspire change, and it's all thanks to a groundbreaking new project with formerly and currently incarcerated artists.
In 2016, Bushwick artist Fury Young released an EP, or collection of six songs, titled "Die Jim Crow," along with more than a dozen collaborators and musicians who have spent time behind bars.

"It's just about giving people a voice who normally wouldn't have it to tell their story,” says Fury Young.

Last month, they unveiled an art book to go along with the EP.

"It just didn't make sense to just put out a record, we wanted to really show people the artwork behind it the lyrics and the state documents,” says Fury Young. 

Fury Young is sharing the stories of five people with art, songs and music videos.
"Folks who are in prison are some of the most misunderstood misconceived folks in society,” Fury Young says. “The second song is about a guy who is wrongfully convicted, the third song is about entering prison for the first time and seeing all the crazy stuff that goes on around you and becoming into a number instead of a name."

Young says his inspiration is Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow."

"Her thesis is basically that prison is a modern day racial caste system similar to the old forms of segregation in the south,” says Fury Young.

That's why he says this name was fitting.

"’Die Jim Crow’ means an end to a really rusty way of viewing black people, generally people in prison, people who are poor people who are railroaded by the justice system,” says Fury Young.

Young says he's hoping this project opens eyes.

"A chance to walk in the shoes of people who are in prison,” says Fury Young. “People who are formerly in prison and see what they go through and in that process to have those voices humanized for them a bit more."