Teyana Taylor takes on police brutality and the national Black Lives Matter protests in the provocative video for “Still,” in which she portrays two recent victims of police killings: Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The clip directed by Taylor (no relation to the Louisville woman whose shooting in March has become a rallying cry for social justice) is for the moving ballad from the singer’s June release The Album.
In it, she mixes actual footage from BLM protests around the country next to images of the singer as Taylor, Floyd and Trayvon Martin, as well as shots of her dressed as Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton and late civil rights figure Malcolm X. The latter’s voice introduces the visual before a rapid-fire listing of the names of Black and brown victims of police violence fill the screen.
With Taylor poised as a sniper in a window wielding a long gun, the video flashes footage of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. alongside archival film of Black men and women being beaten by police in the 1960s, as Taylor sings, “I keep crying for love/ But it won’t wipe, won’t wipe my tears.” In one startling image, Taylor re-creates an iconic image of Newton seated in a wicker chair holding two rifles, but this time it’s the singer with a pregnant belly.
Watch “Still” below [warning: video features graphic images of police violence].