Nine-year-old Zyah Brown was set to perform with a go-go band at Black Lives Matters Plaza on Election Night, but before she could take the mic, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“The police were pushing and shoving people in the crowd,” Zyah said. “I lost my family in the mix; we started running.”
Get D.C. area news, weather forecasts and lifestyle content to your inbox. Signup for NBC Washington newsletters.
Seeing her father in handcuffs left her with a painful realization.
“It’s sad that just because we’re a different color, we get treated differently,” Zyah said.
Zyah, also known by her rap name “Fly Zyah,” wrote a poem that turned into a rap song based on her experience with police and the sights she saw with her family at a protest.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
With help from her father, Zyah wrote her song, which she calls a letter to D.C., sharing her views on the world. She hopes the song will instill hope and inspire people in D.C. and around the globe.
“I want it to get to all around the world,” Zyah said. “I want everybody in the whole entire world to hear it.”
In her music video on YouTube, she shares pictures and videos from Black Lives Matter protests and pictures of her living through these unrestful times and how these events impacted her life completely.
“Fly Zyah” currently works with the Music Industry Academy of D.C., which mentors young people and helps them develop their talents.
She plans to retire from rap at 16 and pursue a career in entrepreneurship or become an artist.
“I want to be known as the girl who rapped and helped the world become a better place through her raps,” Zyah said.