Connect with us

Entertainment

Country Music Acts Quietly Abandon Confederate Flag

Avatar

Published

on

In this Nov. 2, 2009 file photo, John Rich of the musical group, Big & Rich, performs at a rally for 23rd Congressional District candidate, Doug Hoffman, in Watertown, N.Y. Mainstream country music has been quietly distancing itself from the Confederate flag for years, but as the debate reignites following a massacre at a black church in South Carolina on June 17, country artists still struggle to articulate their feelings about the flag’s history and symbolism. Rich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he agreed with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth, File)

In this Nov. 2, 2009 file photo, John Rich of the musical group, Big & Rich, performs at a rally for 23rd Congressional District candidate, Doug Hoffman, in Watertown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth, File)

KRISTIN M. HALL, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Confederate flag was once a familiar symbol in country music, representing the rural South and the renegade spirit of artists such as David Allan Coe and Hank Williams Jr.

But the rebel banner that will be removed Friday from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol has faded from stage and song, with many country artists quietly distancing themselves from the emblem that used to feature prominently in merchandise, lyrics and concerts.

“You won’t find it being used by young country acts today, partly because it doesn’t mean the same thing to them,” said Robert K. Oermann, author and columnist for MusicRow magazine. “Partly because some of them aren’t Southern and partly because if you want to appeal to a national audience, why would you do that?”

Many artists have adopted the American flag instead.

Only a small number of country artists have been willing to speak on the issue in the weeks since nine black churchgoers were fatally shot at a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.

Charlie Daniels wrote a long column on his website addressing the most recent controversy over the flag, which he called “a sign of defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from.”

“That’s all it is to me and all it ever has been to me,” Daniels wrote, explaining that he opposes racism and believes that every person deserves the same rights and advantages regardless of skin color.

“Unfortunately,” Daniels said on the site, “the Confederate battle flag has been adopted by hate groups — and individuals like Dylann Roof,” who is charged with murder in the church attack.

John Rich, of the duo Big and Rich, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he agreed with calls to remove the flag from its pole outside the Statehouse in Columbia. A protest song called “Take Down Your Flag,” written by singer songwriter Peter Mulvey, has been recorded and posted online by hundreds of artists, including Ani DiFranco, bluesman Keb’ Mo and actor Jeff Daniels.

The banner was not commonly used until the late 1960s, when it began to be adopted by some country and rock artists who identified as outlaw musicians appealing to blue-collar fans, Oermann said.

Coe and Williams, the country group Alabama and rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd all used the flag on stage or in merchandise or referenced the flag or the Confederacy in their lyrics.

The flag continued to appear in some country acts through the 1970s and early 1980s, but it fell out of favor as the genre became more commercial and the industry sought to reach wider audiences in the suburbs and urban areas beyond the South.

Country artists take a big risk in addressing social and political issues. Just two years ago, Brad Paisley was criticized for recording a song called “Accidental Racist,” with rapper LL Cool J, that sought to explore racial tensions but came across as naive and ill-advised.

Diane Pecknold, an associate professor of women and gender studies at the University of Louisville who has written extensively about the history of country music, said country has a strong association with patriotism and with promoting inclusion of all races and cultures. She noted that Paisley, Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks all have songs that are explicitly anti-racist.

“You can criticize them for being naive or being post-racial in a way that ignores contemporary and institutionalized racism,” Pecknold said. “You can criticize them for failing to conceptualize it in a meaningful way, but you still have to say that they are talking about race and an ideal of America that is anti-racist.”

Darius Rucker, a black musician who hails from Charleston, chose to communicate directly to his fans on Twitter: “Incredibly proud of my city for handling this tragedy with love. Thankful to be a part of a community that can come together in a time of need.”

___

Charlie Daniels’ website: www.charliedaniels.com.

___

Follow Kristin M. Hall on Twitter at http:twitter.com/kmhall.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Community

Urban One Honors 2021: “Women Leading the Change”

“These women aren’t the Real Housewives of you name the city. These women are working on improving the lives of Black folk,” media mogul and entrepreneur Cathy Hughes said in a recent interview. Please encourage your young women to watch this show. We don’t know who the next Kamala Harris will be, a Black woman who became the nation’s first woman vice president or someone who changes the voting structure like Stacey Abrams.”

Avatar

Published

on

And while many might consider those individuals able to spend more than seven decades with their mother as fortunate, Hughes said such longevity also created a startling realization. “The longer God blesses you with having your mother in your life, the more difficult it is to adjust to life without her,” she said.

And while many might consider those individuals able to spend more than seven decades with their mother as fortunate, Hughes said such longevity also created a startling realization. “The longer God blesses you with having your mother in your life, the more difficult it is to adjust to life without her,” she said.

By Keith L. Alexander for the NNPA

For media mogul and entrepreneur Cathy Hughes, this year’s Mother’s Day was going to be difficult.

Last July, Hughes’s mother, Helen Jones Woods, 96, died from complications of Covid-19. For the 74-year-old Hughes, multi-millionaire and founder and chairperson of Urban One Inc., this year marks Hughes’s first Mother’s Day without her mother present.

And while many might consider those individuals able to spend more than seven decades with their mother as fortunate, Hughes said such longevity also created a startling realization. “The longer God blesses you with having your mother in your life, the more difficult it is to adjust to life without her,” she said.

It was during Hughes’s mourning, that she birthed an idea to not only celebrate her mother’s life with a national TV program, but to also celebrate and honor the lives of other African American women who -specifically during the pandemic – worked at protecting and spotlighting Black Americans.

On Sunday, May 16, 2012 at 9 p.m. (EST) Hughes’s cable TV networks, TV One and its sister network CLEO-TV, will air the network’s annual “Urban One Honors” celebration. The two-hour program this year will be a first; all honorees are African American women. The show is themed “Women Leading the Change.”

Hughes said the women honored left an indelible mark on the country last year, one of this nation’s darkest and most challenging periods in American history due to the deadly pandemic.

The show is co-hosted by Grammy-award winning singer and syndicated gospel radio show host Erica Campbell and award-wining journalist and news commentator Roland Martin. The recorded, virtual awards show will feature live performances by R&B saangers, Avery Sunshine and Jazmine Sullivan, gospel powerhouse Le’Andria Johnson and legendary rapper, Da Brat.

The program will honor six Black female leaders in business, politics, journalism and humanitarian efforts including Atlanta’s political powerhouse and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stacey Abrams and Rosaline “Roz” Brewer, chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance and the nation’s third Fortune 500 company ever led by a Black female executive. The program will also honor the four African American, Greek sororities; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta, Inc.

The show will also pay tribute to Hughes’s mother, who before becoming a wife and mother, was a famed trombone player who played with an all-girl, integrated swing music band called the International Sweethearts of Rhythm in the 1930s and 1940’s. Hughes called her mother’s group, “the original Freedom Fighters” who traveled by bus through the South playing for audiences and even played clubs overseas. At one point, white and Hispanic band members had to wear dark makeup to look like their Black bandmates to avoid being stopped by police for promoting integration, Hughes recalled. The segment will be introduced by a longtime fan of the group, political activist, author and college professor Angela Davis.

Hughes’s excitement about the upcoming evening is electric. An hour before “Urban One Honors” airs, TV One will broadcast an exclusive, hour-long interview with legendary rapper DMX. The interview was recorded for the network’s weekly show “Uncensored” about three weeks before DMX’s sudden death April 9 at age 50. The show’s producers said DMX spoke, at times through tears, about his life, his music and his legacy. The producers said hearing DMX’s commentary just weeks before his death, is more sobering and haunting today.

After the celebration of one of the kings of rap music with “Uncensored,” the TV network will then celebrate its queens with the “Urban One Honors.”

“I think it’s going to be the biggest night in TV One’s history,” Hughes exclaimed.

Hughes, along with a group of Urban One executives chose the honorees because they wanted viewers, especially young girls, to see Black women who were not celebrated singers, dancers or actresses, but instead who were ideological firebrands, making differences in their communities and around the nation.

“These women aren’t the Real Housewives of you name the city. These women are working on improving the lives of Black folk,” Hughes said in a recent interview. Please encourage your young women to watch this show. We don’t know who the next Kamala Harris will be, a Black woman who became the nation’s first woman vice president or someone who changes the voting structure like Stacey Abrams.”

Hughes described Abrams as “voting rights champion” who not only changed the political landscape of Atlanta, but also helped ensure all voters were recognized on behalf of two U.S. Senate Democratic candidates and helped flip Georgia from majority Republican to majority Democrat.

When Walgreen’s selected Spelman College graduate Roz Brewer as its newest CEO in January, Brewer became the nation’s second Black female executive to ever lead a Fortune 500 company. Before being tapped by Walgreen’s, Brewer served as chief operating officer for Starbucks. Prior to that, she served as CEO of Sam’s Club which is owned by Walmart. In 2009, Ursula Burns, became the nation’s first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company when Xerox Holdings selected her as its CEO. Burns retired in 2017. The third Black woman CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company, Thasunda Brown Duckett, was named president and CEO of the retirement and investment managing company TIAA in February, a month after Brewer.

The TV One program is also honoring Ala Stanford, a Philadelphia-based physician and surgeon who last year founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and used her own funds to ensure Black residents of the city – a group that was quickly becoming Philadelphia’s hardest hit by the pandemic – were able to be tested for the coronavirus.

Urban One, is based in Silver Spring, Md. about 30 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. Last year, Hughes and other Urban One executives watched as Kim Ford, president and chief executive of Martha’s Table, provided healthy meals and fresh produce to needy residents in the nation’s capital during the pandemic.

For more than 40 years, Martha’s Table has ensured the neediest of Washington residents had healthy meals and clothing. Martha’s Table was named after the Biblical figure Martha who offered food to Jesus when he visited the home she shared with her sister Mary.

As a youth growing up in Washington, Ford volunteered serving and handing out meals with the non-profit organization. Then in 2019, she was chosen as the company’s president and chief executive. Prior to being named Martha’s Table chief executive, Ford served as deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education where she oversaw management of more than $2 billion in career and technical education, adult education, correctional and re-entry education and community college initiatives for more than 25 million students a year. Ford previously served as a member of President Obama’s Recovery Implementation Office, which was responsible for implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Last year, Martha’s Table reported a 400 percent increase in need from users, as thousands of residents sought assistance for themselves and their families enabling the program to feed as many as 2,200 residents a day, Martha’s Table reported recently.

Another honoree, Robin Rue Simmons, is an alderman in Evanston’s fifth ward in Louisiana. A champion of Black residents in the city, Simmons was elected alderman in 2017. Simmons then led Evanston to becoming the first U.S. city to approve a reparations program. Since taking office, Simmons led the passing of the nation’s first reparations program, which will be funded by the first $10 million of Adult Use Cannabis sales tax revenue. Simmons is also the director of the city’s innovation and outreach at Sunshine Enterprises, which has supported more than 1000 neighborhood entrepreneurs – 98 percent of whom are African American and 74 percent of whom are women – in starting or growing their own business ventures.

Also being honored is New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. Hannah-Jones covered racial injustice for the Times’s magazine before convincing the paper’s top editors to create an entire investigative series tied to the U.S. slave trade. The enterprise was called the 1619 Project which was published by the magazine in 2019. Last year the project won Jones the coveted Pulitzer Prize. The series is now the subject of a documentary produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Lionsgate and is scheduled to air on Hulu.

“We wanted to spotlight Sisters who were getting the change accentuated and making sure the change occurs,” Hughes said.

The show will also feature several noted Black men honoring the sisters. Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson makes his debut appearance on TV One. Also providing commentary on the honorees include Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Urban One CEO and Hughes’s son Alfred C. Liggins III and former Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond.

As co-host of the evening’s program, Campell said she hoped families with young daughters and young sons watch the program together and discuss the awardees and their work.

“I can have a conversation with my daughters to show them there is more to do than just look cute and wear nice makeup,” Campbell said. “They can literally shake up the world. Far too many of our girls look up to one dimensional type of celebrities or influencers. There is so much more than what we can be or what we can do. Offer this wide range of women who are changing the world.”

That was the impotence of the show, says Hughes. “Young people are so focused on celebrities. I wanted to focus this awards’ show on actions. The entertainment industry was shut down for the year. But these individuals we are honoring continued to work during the year,” Hughes said. “During the pandemic, these women were actively engaged.”

And while this year was for the ladies, what about the men? “Who knows maybe next year it will be brothers only,” Hughes said.

Continue Reading

Black History

At the 93rd Academy Awards, Blacks and Asian Take Home Top Honors

According to USA Today, nine of the 20 acting nominees were people of color as compared to #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 and 2016 when all of the nominated actors were white.

Avatar

Published

on

By

 

     The 93rd annual Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Awards kicked off Sunday night at Union Station in Los Angeles with Regina King sashaying in to present the first awards, which were for screenplays.

     She first addressed the elephant in the universe: “I know many of you want to reach for your remote when you feel Hollywood is preaching to you but as the mother of a Black son who fears for his safety, no fame or fortune changes that.

      People have been “vaxxed,” tested, retested, socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely.  So just like on a movie set, when we are rolling, masks off.”

     Daniel Kaluuya won supporting actor for his role as Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah” and in his acceptance speech said to Hampton who was killed in 1969:   “[t]hank you for your light . . . .  Thank you so much for showing me myself.”

    Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson were the first Black women to win an Oscar for make-up and hairstyling for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”  The film also won an Oscar for best costume design.

    The awards were presented by Don Cheadle and Neal acknowledged her grandfather, a Tuskegee airman.

     In her acceptance speech, Neal said “I can picture Black, trans women standing up for [Ma Rainey], and Asian sisters and our Latina sisters and Indigenous women, and I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking.  It will be normal.”

      According to USA Today, nine of the 20 acting nominees were people of color as compared to #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 and 2016 when all of the nominated actors were white.

    “Soul” won for a best-animated feature and best original score and advisor Dr. Johnetta Cole was given a shout-out.  It was Pixar’s first film to feature a Black character in the lead, voiced by Jamie Foxx.

    Tyler Perry and The Perry Foundation have presented the humanitarian award and Perry encouraged all to “stand in the middle and refuse hate.”

     Oakland’s own Zendaya presented awards and Vallejo’s own H.E.R. garnered an Oscar for the original song, “Fight For You,” which was in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”   H.E.R. is now halfway to an EGOT, having received an Oscar and a Grammy, a Tony award for theater, and an Emmy for television..

     The “In Memoriam” tribute introduced by Angela Bassett and underscored by Stevie Wonder’s, “Always,” included Cicely Tyson, Yaphet Kotto, Paula Kelly, Earl Cameron, Brenda Banks, Jonas Gwangwa, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Charles Gregory Ross, Ja’net Dubois, DMX and Chadwick Boseman.

One notable miss from the tribute was Naya Rivera.

A non-award highlight was when Lil Rel Howery and Quest Love, whose movie “Summer of Soul” comes out July 2, got Glenn Close to do “Da Butt”.

Continue Reading

Arts and Culture

APPLICATIONS FOR SAN FRANCISCO’S $3 MILLION MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT VENUE FUND TO OPEN APRIL 21

The Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will offer grants of at least $10,000 to every eligible entertainment venue in San Francisco, which have been struggling to remain in business as a result of COVID-19

Avatar

Published

on

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the City’s Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will begin accepting applications for grants on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The fund was established to provide financial support to San Francisco-based live music and entertainment venues in order to prevent their permanent closure due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Venue Fund advances the Economic Recovery Task Force’s recommendations to support the arts, culture, hospitality, and entertainment sector. The fund is also aligned with San Francisco’s other efforts to support entertainment venues, including Mayor Breed’s $2.5 million in fee and tax relief for entertainment venues and the proposals to support arts and culture in the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Act legislation.
“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco such a special place to live and visit,” said Mayor Breed. “This past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector, and these local funds will help these businesses hang on until they can start operating again.”
In March 2021, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney agreed to allocate $3 million to the fund as part of $24.8 million for small business loans and grants in the current year surplus spending plan. The first round of grants will expend all $3 million in equal amounts to every venue eligible to receive funding. Grants will be at least $10,000 for each venue, although that amount will vary based on how many venues qualify for the program.
“Our independent music and nightlife venues have been hit hard over the last year, and desperately need the support that this fund will provide,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “Nightlife and entertainment are cornerstones of our city’s economy and culture. As we reopen and recover, we need our city’s venues to not only survive, but to be even stronger.”
The fund is administered by San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, and was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, the Small Business Commission, the San Francisco Venue Coalition, and the Independent Venue Alliance.
The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. Any private donations received before the first round of grants is issued will be distributed as part of that round. If additional money is added to the fund by the City or through donations after the first round of grants is issued, that money will be awarded in subsequent rounds of grants. Members of the public interested in donating may find out more information at sfosb.org/venuefund
“San Francisco’s storied live music venues bring more than just economic activity to our City; they are the beating heart of our shared culture, diversity, and sense of identity,” said Ben Bleiman, President of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission. “But due to the pandemic, many of them are teetering on the edge of permanent closure. We applaud Mayor Breed, Supervisor Haney, and our San Francisco leaders for swift, decisive action to establish the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund. These grants will play a crucial role in saving our live music venues before it’s too late.”
“Live music venues have not been able to be open for even a single day, at any capacity, for over a year. They have been among the hardest hit businesses in San Francisco, and as a result are hanging on by a thread,” said Sharky Laguana, President of the San Francisco Small Business Commission. “Many have been forced to permanently close. Music is a central part of San Francisco’s identity and history, and speaking as a musician, I don’t want to even think about our City without our beloved venues. This aid will make a big difference, and help keep music alive in San Francisco. Thank you Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney for creating the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund.”
Applications open on April 21 and the deadline is May 5, 2021. Venues eligible to receive funding must have held a Place of Entertainment permit from the Entertainment Commission prior to the start of the pandemic and must be able to demonstrate a track record of substantial live entertainment programming, among other eligibility criteria.
Venues interested in applying and members of the public interested in donating to the fund can learn more at sfosb.org/venuefund
 

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending