Queen Sugar will feature a powerful protest song from singer-songwriter Ra-Re Valverde Tuesday night on the OWN drama’s season 5 finale.
The song titled “Safe Where?” is a call for justice in response to the police killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. in his White Plains, New York home in November 2011.
Chamberlain, a 68-year-old former Marine with a heart condition, accidentally activated his medical alert pager while he was sleeping, according to the New York Daily News. Police responded to the home to check on the veteran, who was Black, and shot him twice in the chest. He died about an hour later at the hospital. A White Plains grand jury declined to indict any officers for Chamberlain’s death.
The lyrics to “Safe Where?” question police tactics in the case.
“Knowing your badge gives you claim to blame fear as a reason you get away the hate in you fed by a system keeping you safe,” some of the lyrics state.
Ra-Re Valverde is the fourth artist recognized by Ava DuVernay’s Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP). The social justice initiative was created in 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“We are thrilled to introduce Ra-Re’s powerful song — ‘Safe Where?’ — in response to the murder of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.,” Array Vice President of Public Programming Mercedes Cooper said in a statement. “Music has frequently been used to address social justice issues and the lyrics of this song further amplify the calls for police accountability in Black and brown communities.”
Valverde previously sang backup vocals for artists including Jennifer Lopez, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway and Rahsaan Patterson.
The Queen Sugar season finale airs tonight, April 20 at 8/7C on OWN. Listen to the song and watch a sneak peek of the Queen Sugar season finale below.