Seven Last Words in Black History

Chanda Burrage, MS, MIA
1 min readFeb 16, 2022


Two renditions of “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson

betto Rodrigues / shutterstock
Betto Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Today, as a moment to reflect on Black History, I highly suggest that you should watch and/or listen to this powerful production of the “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson.

For several days my hubby has nagged me about this video. Now, I see why. The compositions are incredibly emotive and inspiring.

Mr. Thompson’s Seven Last Words production

Joel Thompson is an Atlanta-based composer, conductor, pianist, and educator. He is best known for the choral work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, which was premiered in November 2015 by the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers. Thompson’s production won the 2018 American Prize for Choral Composition.

After, having watched this amazing performance, I had to find out more about its origins.

So check out fabulous rendition by the Tallahassee Symphony — which also comes with a panel discussion, comprised of the composer and other participants. They discuss how the composition came to be, alongside the social and political obstacles it overcame.

Enjoy and prepare to be MOVED.



Chanda Burrage, MS, MIA

Doctoral student in geography and organizational leadership. Adjunct Lecturer at CUNY-Medgar Evers College. Global social change maker.