Ciara celebrates Black excellence in ‘Rooted’ video

Ciara and Ester Dean bring equal parts celebration and resistance.
August 13, 2020 11:06 a.m. EST
August 13, 2020 12:48 p.m. EST
Ciara’s latest single is a total celebration of Black excellence and culture—from its powerful lyrics to its moving music video imagery. The singer was only days from giving birth to her third child when she filmed the video for “Rooted,” which the Soul Train Music Award winner created in collaboration with actor, songwriter and performer Ester Dean.“Rooted” honours Black fathers and mothers, including Ciara and her children (six-year-old Future and three-year-old Sienna both appear in the new video). In fact, Ciara revealed on Instagram that she filmed the video a mere two days before bringing her son Win (with husband Russell Wilson) into the world. Throughout “Rooted,” the singer/dancer/overall phenomenal person proudly showed off her pregnant belly, proving she is still one of the best dancers in the business even when nine months pregnant.
Wearing her hair natural and in braids, Ciara casts as powerful figure throughout the video as she sings “All my songs come with melanin / Got the heart, got the soul like Harriett / A queen since she born, that was evident / That's evidence of black excellence.”Ciara and director Annie Bercy used their new video to lift up the Black community, pay tribute to those who have been killed at the hands of police, and make a stand of resistance. In one scene, a young woman wears a t-shirt with a picture of Breonna Taylor (who was killed by police in her own home). The image includes the phrase “Say Her Name"—the rallying cry started after the death of Sandra Bland highlighting police violence against women.In a another shot, a young man is wearing a shirt reading, “I Can’t Breathe,” featuring images of George Floyd and other Black men who have been killed during interactions with police. Videos from recent Black Lives Matter protests also fill out the stunning video, which balances the celebratory messaging with the powerful reminder that the recent mainstream globalization of the BLM movement must continue to push for change at all societal levels.[video_embed id='2012014']RELATED: Shaggy's got another summer banger [/video_embed]The video concludes with a powerful message speaking directly to the Black community, specifically, "all my young Rosa's and Young Luther's" and "Black queens and kings" who Ciara implores to "keep marching" and "continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride." Unlike many music videos, Ciara also includes credit slides at the very end—a significant move which highlights the names of dancers, models, actors and other creatives who offered their talent and vision to the piece of art.[caption id="attachment_4946453" align="alignleft" width="960"]Ciara 'Rooted' video endslide Ciara/YouTube[/caption]Although she’s not present in the video, Ciara created her new single with the wildly talented Ester Dean. As an actor, Dean is best known for her role as Cynthia-Rose Adams in all three Pitch Perfect movies. On the music side, Dean released her first single in 2009 with “Drop It Low,” which cracked the Billboard Top 40. Dean has also found massive success as a Grammy-nominated songwriter, writing songs like “Rude Boy” and “What’s My Name” for Rihanna, “Fireworks” for Katy Perry and “Super Bass” for Nicki Minaj. Ciara and Dean, who is also one of the mentors on Songland, have previously worked together on Ciara’s singles “Never Ever,” “Turn It Up,” “That’s How I’m Feelin’” and “Thinkin Bout You.” The pair also worked together on last year’s “Melanin,” which featured Ciara and Dean as well as Lupita Nyong’o, City Girls and Lala Anthony.Ciara has also announced that proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to Grantmakers for Girls of Color, an organization that provides resources for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American girls to help them "achieve the equity and justice" they are historically denied.[video_embed id='2012607']BEFORE YOU GO: Sterling K. Brown talks about power of representation on TV [/video_embed]

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