Writer and performer Erin McKeown attended the Facing Race conference over the weekend and spoke to Colorlines.com editorial director Kai Wright about her new song “The Jailer.”
McKeown’s song “The Jailer” about the U.S.-Mexico border wall premiered on NPR Monday morning.
“Last year, I took a trip to Nogales, Arizona to see the wall being built between the U.S. and Mexico. I was struck by how it appeared to be a violent spine rising out of the beautiful desert. While standing next to it, I asked our guide, a local charter school teacher, why the wall was made of long columns of steel set close to each other, not a solid surface like other borders I’d seen. “They built it so the water could get through,” he said. This got me thinking about the toll a wall takes on the hearts of those it divides and on the soul of the builder of the wall.”
Erin McKeown’s album, MANIFESTRA, comes out January 15.