Protest: Lucy Dacus | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, February 27th, 2024  

Protest: Lucy Dacus

Tomorrow’s History Lesson

Nov 23, 2021 Photography by Mackenzie Werner Issue #68 - Japanese Breakfast and HAIM (The Protest Issue)
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If the last year has taught us anything, one of the most eye opening lessons was the need to never stop educating ourselves. Solo artist and boygenius member, Lucy Dacus, has always been an avid reader and promoter of books—from literature to life lessons. Most recently her efforts have focused on finding ways to help the most marginalized in a society stacked against them. “I’ve been reading Angela Davis [Freedom is a Constant Struggle] this year [2020],” Dacus says. “Davis talks about what we can learn from intersections of society. And how if we go to the people most at risk we can learn the most about how we can keep each other safe. We can learn a lot from Black and trans communities about participating in mass movements to enact change instead of waiting for the government to decide.”

Dacus also has a strong interest in indigenous communities and recommends Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass and Seeding Sovereignty ( ). “Americans are born into imperialism and a colonial frame of mind,” Dacus explains. “There’s much to be learned from indigenous people about how to take care of the land, but also not just treating everyone as resources or barriers to resources. So not only do we have to learn from these communities, we have to learn for them or it will just be business as usual.” For all of the challenges of 2020 and 2021, Dacus felt it most important to make a statement about classism in America.

Interestingly, Dacus uses a word not seen on most protest posters: “future.” With so much in our faces on the media and outside our front doors, she feels it is important to also look ahead. “I feel like saying ‘the future’ widens the scope of the work that is happening now. The purpose of protesting or donating or educating yourself is for the future,” Dacus explains. “You have to let go of your sense of immediate gratification because we may not see the ideal world that we are working for in our lifetimes. But we are putting our efforts forth for whoever comes next. That is worth it.”

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 68 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. The issue was our 2021 Protest Issue, in which we once again examined the intersection of music and politics and conducted photo shoots with musicians holding protest signs of their own making.]

(Dacus released a new album, Home Video, earlier this year via Matador.)

Also read our 2018 interview with Dacus on Historian.

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