Talib Kweli delivers a call to action with his latest release, “She’s My Hero,” a soulful dedication to Bresha Meadows, an Ohio teenager who killed her allegedly abusive father last summer.
Over production by Oh No, Kweli raps about the Meadows family history and the incident that made national headlines. “Bresha Meadows took matters in her own hands,” he rhymes. “14 years old with more courage than a grown man / Grabbed the gun that he threatened her with / Cracked in the bedroom, put a bullet in his brain while he slept.”
The veteran New York rhymer spoke about the song’s inspiration in an open letter (via XXL). “The first thing that struck me about Bresha was how much she physically reminded me of my own daughter,” he writes. “I had a similar experience when George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who reminded me of my son. I instantly felt drawn to these children and I felt compelled to dive deeper into their lives. Leading up to shooting her father, Bresha’s grades were slipping in school, she had run away from home and had repeatedly told relatives and authorities that her father was beating up her mom and threatening to kill the whole family.”
Continuing his letter, Kweli explained why the song should be taken as a call to action. “Regardless of how you feel about this particular case, whether you feel it’s a self defense issue, a domestic abuse issue, a mental health issue or all of the above, the take away for me is that we must do a better job of taking care of and protecting our children,” he added. “Our children should never feel they have to make these kinds of decisions. I see my own children in Bresha’s young face, and I want to uplift their voices as much as I possibly can.”
Bresha’s mother Brandi Meadows has been vocal about her support for her daughter. “I am so sorry she had to go through this,” she said. “She is my hero. She helped me; she helped all of us so we could have a better life.” That interview was part of the inspiration for Kweli’s song, including its title.
In May, Meadows took a plea deal that removed her from a juvenile detention center, where she had been held for several months, to a residential treatment center, where she was ordered to receive therapy for six additional months. According to NBC News, she is scheduled to return home after 18 total months in custody, if all goes as planned.
Her lawyer Ian Friedman told The New York Times that Meadows was looking forward to her future of freedom. “Bresha is incredibly relieved and feeling optimistic about her life for the first time,” he explained. “It was nice to see her genuinely smile yesterday. This young girl will now have a very bright future.”