Usher released a self-directed video for “I Cry,” a song he released last month inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests.
The clip features Usher singing over stark piano as photographs by the late Gordon Parks flash across the screen. “I usually don’t show my emotions,” he sings. “But it ain’t getting better/’Cause you can’t be blind with eyes wide open.”
“This video is in honor of the courage and bravery of the activists and organizations who are demanding a change to broken systems rooted in hundreds of years of racism,” Usher wrote on Instagram. “It includes iconic photography from the great humanitarian and black artist, Gordon Parks.”
Usher will donate the song’s proceeds to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit that supports communities of color in the U.S. He performed the song for the first time live at the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future concert on June 27th.
“Like many, I grew increasingly frustrated by how slow things have been to change,” Usher said upon the song’s release. “I became very depressed thinking about all sons who have lost their fathers to police brutality, social injustice and violence; the daughters and mothers, too. So I returned to this song and realized it was intended for this time, so I finished it and here it is.”