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Local students inspired by Civil Rights Movement create 'Raperations' song with powerful message

A group of JCPS students took a trip to Alabama to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. That education turned into inspiration for a new music video.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — They say history is taught in a classroom but as Nyree Clayton Taylor explains it, there are simply things that you can’t be taught with just a book.

“When we were sitting on the steps of 16th Street Baptist Church where the girls were bombed, that was just an awe-inspiring moment. It was more than I could have given them in the classroom,” Taylor said.

She’s referring to a trip her students took to Alabama to not only learn history, but to experience it, live it and breathe it.

The idea started with a conversation in the car.

Credit: WHAS-TV
Nyree Clayton Taylor

“Everybody was sitting in the car and then on the radio they started talking about reparations. Then my friend Jovante said, ‘what is reparations?’ That’s when our teacher told us what reparations was and that’s when we came up with the idea to write a song about reparations,” a student said. 

Taylor added, “As a good teacher, when they ask questions, that’s what I need to teach.”

She did and her students came out with a powerful message and a new music video called, “Raperations.”

In a collaborative effort, the students not only wrote the lyrics, shot the video but edited the entire music video before uploading it to YouTube with a powerful message to Senator Mitch McConnell.

“Mitch McConnell said that we don’t need reparations because we had a black president. We had Barack Obama, he said we don’t deserve it and he said we fought the Civil War – so we really don’t deserve reparations. So what we’re rapping about is reparations. We’re trying to get it. We’re trying to get our check and we’re coming for our check.”