Local racist act inspires songwriter to ‘join the conversation’

·2 min read

Racially offensive graffiti has spurred local singer/songwriter Tania Joy to release a powerful new song in time to mark Black History Month.

Joy says she was inspired to write “Planks and Marietta” after learning of the racist graffiti that was written on the road and sidewalk of Franklin St. in Uxbridge last August.

“All the events from last year hit me quite hard,” says Joy. Emotionally touched by the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the racist vandalism here in Uxbridge, Joy says she decided it was time to join the conversation and find a way to express herself. Releasing the song this past Tuesday, during Black History Month, “just feels like it’s all coming out when it should.

“I feel grateful that I was able to articulate my experience and connect the two events,” said Joy. “The incident we had here was nowhere near as monumental as in some other countries, but these are the small things that happen all over, everyday, no matter how picturesque on the outside, it can happen anywhere, in any town.” Joy said it took her awhile to figure out what exactly she wanted to say. Back in August she simply wrote down “Planks and Marietta” and knew that if she “could ever put the words together” she wanted to write a song about it.

“I love this town, and I don’t want to call anyone out specifically, but I needed to find my voice. Somehow I was able to bring it all together in “Planks and Marietta,” says Joy.

On top of the emotional overwhelm, Joy says that, due to the COVID pandemic, this song had to be produced entirely in her house, working virtually with her producer. Joy was able to premier the song at this year’s virtual Hillside Inside music festival earlier this month.

“It's my protest song about all of the little stories that get swept under the rug until they can no longer be ignored.”

Joy also has another song, “The Drought,” being released on Feb. 25, along with a pre-release giveaway of goodies from local stores and vendors.

“Planks and Marietta” is available exclusively online at Bandcamp.com The video can be seen at https://youtu.be/ZvOFymCFuQE All proceeds from the song will be donated to Black Lives Matter.

Connect with Tania Joy online at @misstaniajoy and at taniajoy.com

Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos