BALDWIN | Jamila Woods

Music Video

A VAM STUDIO Production

Watch the video for “Baldwin” from Jamila Woods critically acclaimed LEGACY!LEGACY! album, out now on Jagjaguwar in partnership with Closed Sessions.  It’s an incredibly profound video that transforms the underfunded and often ignored Chicago Public School system into Hogwarts providing books and the support that all children deserve. Jamila explains: 

“The song is inspired by James Baldwin’s “Letter to My Nephew." In that spirit the film revolves around a group of Black youth in an imagined school on Chicago's South Side, like Hogwarts--but Black.  To outsiders, the school appears to be abandoned – one of the 50 public schools closed under Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s watch in 2013. However, for Black people in the neighborhood this space is a gem, an oasis of Black learning and radical education for young people. We shot part of the film documentary-style, to include young people's perspectives on what they would want their dream school to be like.”

The director, Vincent Martell of VAM STUDIO, adds: “My goal as director was to keep the integrity of the track and infuse the majestical spirit of James Baldwin. By working with Jamila to place black CPS students in the forefront of the narrative, we create a world filled with overwhelming possibilities and black joy. The black community is magical and opulent and full of vibrancy, in this video we’re just showing the world what we already see.”

Directed by Vincent Martell
Produced by Ramone Hulet
1st AD Saró Melero Bonnin
2nd AD Ali Mango
2nd 2nd ADLua Borges
Student Coordinator Tanji Harper
DP Hannah Welever
Steadicam Operator Kevin Veselka
1st AC Sonia Jourdain
Gaffer Mawie Tailon
Grip Zach Alsen
Sound Mixer Aliya Haq
Production Designer Jordan Phelps Chris Tuttle
Wardrobe Manager Whitney Middleton
Wardrobe Stylist Sal Yvat
Editor Priscilla Perez
Colorist Lindsey Mazur (The Mill)
Color Producer Dan Butler (The Mill)
VFX Artist Zach Moore
Graphic Artist Dan Polyak
Production Assistant Zoe Kosmopolous, Kianni Bey, Christian McClain
Set Photographer Mercedes Zapata

Starring Jamila Woods
Starring Zaire Green Taisaun Levi Darius Burks
Guest Starring Mo G

Production Company
Good Trouble Films

Featuring visual art by Paul Branton
MUA by Krystyn Johnson and Nina Cowens



“Woods effortlessly communicates how history lives in the present moment — in sound and in feeling — and, like joy, cannot be erased.” - NPR

“‘Legacy! Legacy!’ is a fully realized follow-up, sure-footed in its blend of what was, what is and what might be.” THE NEW YORK TIMES

It’s music to own your truth by. - ROLLING STONE

With LEGACY! LEGACY!, Jamila Woods positions herself to join the battle, bridging the gap, once and for all, between our unresolved past and the promise that awaits us all on the horizon. - PITCHFORK

As a black woman making art in the 21st century, Ms. Woods feels an obligation to honor the sacrifices of those who carved out a space for her. She wants to build on that history, and also become part of it. - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL