The artist formerly known as Kanye West has always looked to the future. So for Ye, this February doesn’t mark Black History Month, but rather Black Future Month. The same goes for every February moving forward, the 44-year-old says.
In a new video first shared by collaborators like 88-Keys and directed by Theophilus London, Ye opens up about his vision for the month and how it pertains to what his children have been taught in school.
Ye starts his speech, seemingly given in the same space his Sunday Service Choir has been frequenting in recent months, by sharing his own parental backstory and discussing how “the system has been separating families in every way that they can for years.”
“America is made to enslave us,” Ye said. “What they ever gave us? We done proved, we done showed. It’s documented, now it’s cemented. Black Future, it’s time to invent it. If Ye said it, you know that he meant it. There’s no more Black History Month, every February reminding us that we just barely can vote. You shouldn’t have to be a tech genius, a basketball god, a musical wizard to be able to hold down your family.”
Speaking on his relationship with his children in the clip, Ye reveals through rhyme that at the time the video was recorded, it had been “about four, five days since I’ve seen my kids, but we in America, that’s just how it is.”
“We thinking about the future and not the past,” the creative shared. “This is a calling, this is more than balling, this is more than the dreams of the hard court and a Spaulding. This is more than the dreams of the White House, this is our house. This is our country to be bought, but nah, that’s not what I was taught.”
Getting more personal, West recalls his daughter coming home from school and telling him she found out she was Black. But Ye says she found out she was Black through the lens of her school’s perspective.
“She learned that she was Black from Sierra Canyon’s perspective,” he revealed, referencing the school that his kids have been rumored to attend, which describes itself as “a premier independent college preparatory school” for grades K through 12. “And what do you think Sierra Canyon’s perspective of Black is? You think it’s talking about Mansa Musa or you think it’s talking about Christopher Columbus? So if we wanna talk about Black history, who wrote that history for us? They beat down ideas that will keep you enslaved mentally. They target you, they put you in that box, to control your mind and to make you fearful. I just don’t have no fear left in me. So all I got is love.”
Ye began to close out his speech by touching on the amount of money Black Americans possess, which he said is “going back into a white system everywhere.”
“Our $44 million is worth $1.8 trillion,” he said. “That means the Black dollar is neck-and-neck with the biggest company in the world, which is Apple. And more focused, the Black dollar will be the biggest company in the world.”
In a final talking point during the nearly six-minute talk, Kanye emphasized that his Yeezy brand is the “only 100 percent Black-owned brand that is cultural,” and mentioned the vision he had for it with the late Virgil Abloh, as well as the ideas he has for Black Future Month.
“What me and Virgil broke down is the Black belief in Black design,” West said. “We used to hold luxury ‘here’ and Black design ‘there.’ And I’m fine to take what they gotta say, because it’s not about me. It’s about us, it’s about our children, it’s about an example of what we can be when we decide to walk off the field and take our narrative into our own hands. Black Future Month, this is the future.”
Watch Kanye’s remarks above. Donda 2 is currently slated for a Feb. 22 release.