Talib Kweli hasn’t released solo music in a while but he’s back today with a new song titled ‘She’s My Hero’ which is dedicated to Bresha Meadows.
The Ohio teen was 14 when she took her father’s gun and shot him last July, putting an end to what relatives say were years of abuse visited upon her, her mother and her siblings. Her case has got a lot of attention and sympathy from supporters who say that the way she is being treated by the state is too typical for black survivors of violence.
Talib has also issued a detailed statement on why he chose to release this song. Read the full release below.
“Good morning. Spending time engaging with fans on social media has allowed me to spread information about causes and events ignored by the mainstream media. It has also made me aware of important cultural events and connected me with brilliant people who make me a better human being. It was on social media that I first learned about the story of Bresha Meadows. On July 28th, 2016, Bresha Meadows shot and killed her reportedly abusive father. She was 14 years old at the time.
The first thing that struck me about Bresha was how much she physically reminded me of my own daughter. I had a similar experience when George Zimmerman killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin, who reminded me of my son. I instantly felt drawn to these children and I felt compelled to dive deeper into their lives. Leading up to shooting her father, Bresha’s grades were slipping in school, she had run away from home and had repeatedly told relatives and authorities that her father was beating up her mom and threatening to kill the whole family.
Back in 2011, Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows, stated in court papers that she had been cut, suffered broken ribs, a broken nose and black eyes, and that she is 100 percent sure she will be killed. She later reconciled with Bresha’s father, which is a common occurrence in abusive relationships. To this day, the father’s relatives insist he was not nearly as abusive as he was made out to be.
Bresha obviously had a different perspective, telling authorities that the gun she killed her father with was the very gun he used to threaten the family with. After sitting in juvenile detention for 9 months and facing at the very least a very lengthy prison sentence, Bresha accepted a plea deal that will allow her to be released to a residential treatment center for 6 months and then to her family. What struck me about this case was Bresha’s age. I express myself lyrically, so a lyric popped in my head while thinking about it –
“Do you kill yourself or kill the monster thats making you suicidal, decisions to heavy for the mind of a child.”
Regardless of how you feel about this particular case, whether you feel it’s a self defense issue, a domestic abuse issue, a mental health issue or all of the above, the take away for me is that we must do a better job of taking care of and protecting our children. Our children should never feel they have to make these kinds of decisions. I see my own children in Bresha’s young face, and I want to uplift their voices as much as I possibly can. Brandi Meadows has said of her daughter –
“She is my hero. I wasn’t strong enough to get out and help us all.”
That statement got me thinking about what a hero truly is, and made me want to write a song about Bresha. My hope is that this song inspires us as a community to more closely examine the dysfunction within our own families, so that we can create solutions before young people like Bresha feel like they must take matters into their own hands. I present She’s my Hero.
Using the hashtag #FreeBresha supporters of Bresha Meadows have rallied around her, setting up a GoFundMe page for the family.”