Posts tagged with "Black Artists"

Black_Music_Month_Alex_Bogdan_360Magazine via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

Black Music Action Coalition

Black Music Action Coalition Partners with Wasserman Music, Nashville Music Equality, Recording Industry Association of America, and YouTube Music to conclude the first annual Tennessee State University Music Accelerator Program

May 26, 2022 marked the completion of the three-week Maymester Music Accelerator Program at TSU.  This program ended with guest lecturers, super producer Dallas Austin and recording artist Sir The Baptist, they both received honorary doctorates in music from TSU on May 6. The last class was held at the National Museum of African American Music and to their surprise, each student received a gold plaque from the RIAA. The Music Accelerator Program at Tennessee State University is a program in partnership with Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC)Nashville Music EqualityRecording Industry Association of America (RIAA)Wasserman Music, and YouTube Music.

Over the course of the 3-week program, guest lectures from influential music executives, along with internship placements for students looking to start their career paths across multiple music industry companies, including Wasserman Music, Warner Music Nashville and LVRN. Speakers who participated included Post Malone manager Dre London, Artistry Group founder/CEO Max Gousse, Tuma Basa (Youtube Music), Andrew Lieber (MAC Agency), Roddy Ricch manager Shawn Holiday, recording artists BRELAND, Blanco Brown and Joy Oladokun, Mary J Blige’s manager Ashaunna Ayars, Marcus Johnson (Goldenvoice/AEG), Brandon McEachern and Marcus Allen (Broccoli City) EMPIRE product manager Russell Barrett, RIAA’s Jackie Jones, Tina Davis (Vp of EMPIRE), BMG’s Tim Reid and Jon Loba,  and Wasserman Music agents Lee Anderson, Lenore Kinder, Callender, Chappel McCollister and Mallory Smith and many more.

“The Music Business Accelerator course was a one-of-a-kind learning experience that exposed students to successful music professionals. Whether having guests in the classroom, or visiting a music related company, the course provided real-time and real-live information that have enabled the students to see their future careers as a tangible goal and not an ambiguous dream. This course provided inspiration, calculation, and anticipation of things to come!” – Dr. Mark Crawford, Professor of Music and Coordinator of Commercial Music, TSU.

“The level of passion and focus I saw at the accelerator program gave me so much hope and excitement for the future of the music industry. I was so impressed with these students, and I’m honored that I was given the opportunity to share wisdom that they’ll carry throughout their journey.” – Tina Davis, EMPIRE.

“I am truly honored to come speak with a live audience of music lovers at Tennessee State University. The Music Accelerator Program is an incredible resource for aspiring young creatives, a program I would have loved to be a part of when I was starting out on my music journey, so I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to share what I’ve learned and to help in any way that I can.” – Dre London.

“The Tennessee State students were incredible. I could tell the future of the music business was in the room by how intently they listened to each of us. This program is special!” – Tuma Basa, Dir. Of Black Music & Culture, Youtube Music.

“Black Music Action Coalition wants to be intentional about addressing the erasure of Black artists, executives, and the creative community on Music Row by creating a real pipeline to opportunities and resources to level the playing field in Nashville. I was able to watch the students in this music accelerator program show up at 8:15 in the morning on a daily basis, ready to learn and were completely engaged for over 3 hours, as some of the most successful and influential leaders in the entertainment industry poured into them. The students were able to learn about publishing, management & branding, distribution, marketing, tour routing & talent buying and even participate in a focus group for an upcoming release from an artist signed to a major label. Three weeks of nonstop action. I met some incredible artists, rappers, singer/songwriters, managers, producers who will definitely make their mark in this industry. Not only through the paid internships that follow this program, but we will continue to work directly with all of these students to ensure they are equipped with all they need to succeed.  This was an incredible first step, of which many BMAC will take with those in Nashville dedicated to racial, social and economic justice. We are grateful for the partnership with Dr. Crawford, Wasserman Music, RIAA, Youtube Music and Nashville Music Equality and Tennessee State University.” – Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, co-founder/co-chair of BMAC.

“It was truly an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to share my story, knowledge, and experiences in the music business with the amazing students and future music executives at the Music Accelerator Program at Tennessee State University. My personal goal was to show young black aspiring creatives that a career in music business is attainable at the highest levels. The students were smart, engaged, and fun! Thank you to everyone involved”! – Marcus Johnson, Goldenvoice/ AEG.

“TSU has always had talented and hard-working students, and they deserve the same access to opportunities in the music industry as their contemporaries at local PWIs. I loved being able to share my experience and story with them, and I have faith that these students will go on to do great things in this industry. I’m grateful to RIAA and BMAC for the chance to connect with the class and give back to the next generation of leaders.” – BRELAND.

“LVRN supports BMAC and Wasserman Music Accelerator Program at Tennessee State University.  We all started very young in this business and are forever grateful to those that invested time into developing us as executives. We believe we have a responsibility to pay it  forward and invest in the next generation of young leaders and this program is the perfect opportunity.” – Amber Grimes, EVP and GM of LVRN.

“Being a part of this program has been an amazing experience and an important first step to bringing more voices to the table. These students are incredibly talented and I believe they are the future of the music industry. We have all learned a lot from the speakers and each other and I look forward to partnering on more intentional efforts to bring opportunities like this to more students.” – Jackie Jones, Artist and Industry Relations, RIAA.

“The magnitude of this program is so important for our TSU students who have been historically shut out of access and opportunities within our music landscape here in Nashville, TN. On behalf of Nashville Music Equality and the Nashville Promise Zone, I couldn’t be more proud and inspired to see the number of Black Music Executives this program will produce. And to have this happen at Tennessee State University is absolutely amazing!” – Brian Sexton, Nashville Music Equality Community Chair/Nashville Promise Zone Manager.

ABOUT WASSERMAN MUSIC

Wasserman Music represents a world-class roster of artists for live performance, touring, brand partnerships and beyond, empowering them to create culture and impact audiences globally. The passionate, entrepreneurial agents at Wasserman Music are long-term artist development strategists who build significant, global platforms for the world’s most impactful artists. Wasserman Music is a division of Wasserman, a partner to the world’s most iconic sports figures, musical artists, brands, and properties.
Website | Roster | Instagram

ABOUT TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

ABOUT BLACK MUSIC ACTION COALITION

Tuesday June 2, 2020, the music industry went silent for one day to join the fight for equality as part of #BlackOutTuesday…the day the show paused!. This movement spread beyond the music business and inspired tens of millions worldwide to follow suit. Galvanized by this historic moment, close to 200 preeminent artist managers, attorneys, business managers, agents and other industry executives signed up to join forces, instituting and introducing the first-ever BLACK MUSIC ACTION COALITION. Together, these individuals form one common voice, representing the interests of artists, producers, songwriters and executives. This illustrious cadre of industry heavyweights notably represents artists who comprise a majority of the industry’s revenue. This advocacy organization endeavors to uphold and actualize the mission of Black Lives Matter in the music industry and reach racial justice not just across record labels, publishers, agencies, distributors, and DSP’s but throughout society at large. BMAC works together with various business leaders to hold their companies accountable and implement a system of checks and balances to ensure change takes root. The group fosters and shepherds various educational, mental health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, policing, social justice, and political causes that directly impact Black communities. In 2021, BMAC released the first annual Music Industry Action report card that measured and assessed the music industry’s progress toward achieving racial justice and equity. To commemorate the report card, BMAC also held its inaugural Music In Action Awards Gala to honor musicians, activists and industry professionals who have used their platforms to enact change within the music industry and broader society. The Weeknd, H.E.R., Ethiopia Habtemariam, Ben Crump and more were honored for their contributions to change.

About RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America® advocates for recorded music and the people and companies that create it in the United States. RIAA’s several hundred members – ranging from major American music groups with global reach to artist-owned labels and small businesses – make up the world’s most vibrant and innovative music community, working to help artists reach their potential and connect with fans while supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

For more information on Wasserman Music, please contact:
WassermanMusicPR@shorefire.com      

For more information on Nashville Music Equality (NME), please contact:
Brian Sexton | sexton.brian@gmail.com 

For more information on Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), please contact:
Tori Johnson | tori@biz3.net
Kathryn Frazier | kathryn@biz3.net 

For more information on YouTube Music, please contact:
Margaret Hart | magregory@google.com 

For more information on RIAA, please contact:
Marcel Pariseau | marcel@truepublicrelations.com

Black Music Action via True Public Relations by 360 Magazine
Amanda Reifer "Crazy" single cover art via Amaiya Davis (U Music) for use by 360 Magazine

Amanda Reifer – Crazy

Positioning herself for a major breakthrough, bold and buzzing Bajan singer and songwriter Amanda Reifer reveals her new single “Crazy” today.

Listen to “Crazy” HERE

Bright keys underpin the bouncy production of the track as her voice sails over a head-nodding groove on a hypnotic island-inflected refrain. The song showcases yet another side of this dynamic force of nature, breaking boundaries between borders and genres along the way.

It paves the way for more music to come from Amanda Reifer very soon. It’s about to be a “crazy” year for her…

“Crazy” arrives on the heels of her most recent release Bag. In addition to turning heads with its sexy, slick, and cinematic music video, it incited widespread tastemaker applause. Wonderland hailed it as “empowering and attitude-filled, and LA Weekly dubbed it “a vibrant, strong anthem. Meanwhile, Nylon touted her among “17 Under-the-Radar Black Musicians to Know Right Now” and praised “Bag” as “an airy, dance-y track with a tropical twist about getting green that highlights her clarifying vocals.

Last year, audiences fell under her spell when she stirred up the single Rich Bitch Juice, cracking over 1 million streams and attracting a growing fan base. Sending shockwaves through the game, she caught the attention of TITLE 9, who signed her through a partnership with Republic. Now, she’s cooking up more music to be released soon. She’s primed for a massive 2022!

About Amanda Reifer

Music moves like colors, swirling in and out of different shades and styles. Amanda Reifer emerges out of a similar kaleidoscope of pop, R&B, Caribbean, soul, hip-hop, and reggae hues. The Barbados-born singer and songwriter does everything as vibrantly as possible, projecting her voice and presence with power and passion in equal measure. Growing up in the Caribbean, she initially made waves as the frontwoman for Cover Drive. After gaining traction online, the group flourished across the pond in the UK, notching three Top 10 hits in the UK and landing a #1 with Twilight. During 2018, she followed her internal creative compass towards a signature solo style of her own. After dropping her solo debut Girl Like Me, she put up numbers with Ransom” and Bang Bang. However, “Rich Bitch Juice” exploded in 2020. As she graced Spotify playlists such as “Leo, it clocked over 1 million total streams and caught the attention of TITLE 9 who signed her through a partnership with Republic Records. Now, she asserts herself as a dynamic and diverse international disruptor.

Amanda Reifer artist image in the desert via Naomi Christie for use by 360 Magazine
Photo Credits Naomi Christie
Gabrielle Archuleta illustrates Black History Month for 360 MAGAZINE

Black History Month

By Hannah DiPilato

February is Black History Month and 360 Magazine would like to recognize some historic people of color who have become a positive influence on society. In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement skyrocketed and brought attention to the diversity that still exists within our community. Although society has come a long way from the early 1900s when segregation ran rampant, the movement for equality has a long way to go. From inventors to musicians, there are a number of successful people we would like to acknowledge in honor of Black History Month.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Arguably one of the most important leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King spent his time preaching for equality in a peaceful way. He will always be remembered for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and his ability to lead others in this historical movement. Dr. King is one of the most influential

Joseph E. Lowery
Joseph E. Lowery is the grandfather of 360 Magazine’s President Vaughn Lowery and founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Dr. King. Throughout his life, Lowery served as vice president, chairman of the board and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

George Washington Carver
Many people are familiar with George Washington Carver for his inventive skills. He made over 300 products from peanuts and as an agricultural scientist promoted methods to prevent soil depletion.

Garrett Morgan
Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. is to thank for the invention of traffic lights as well as gas masks. Every time you stop at a red light, take a moment to think of Morgan for this essential technology.

Barack Obama
As the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama made an impact as the 44th president and showed young people of color they have representation in politics. He continues to use his voice to connect with the American people.

Kamala Harris
Keeping in the theme of politics, Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman vice president, the first African American vice president and the first Asian American vice president. She’s giving young women of color everywhere a sense of representation.

Madam C.J. Walker
As the first recorded female self-made millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker was an influential entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist of her time.

Frederick McKinley Jones
Frederick McKinley Jones was the co-founder of Thermo King and he brought incredible improvement to long-haul transportation of perishable goods. Jones also won the National Medal of Technology.

Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known as Stevie Wonder, is a musical prodigy that became blind after birth and learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums by age nine. He is now a notable singer, songwriter, musician and record producer.

Lonnie Johnson
Lonnie Johnson is known for his success as an aerospace engineer. He has worked on the U.S. Air Force term of service and has also worked at NASA for twelve years including in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Patricia Bath
As an ophthalmologist, Patricia Bath was an early innovator of laser cataract surgery. She was also the first woman, African American physician to receive a patent for a medical invention.

Oprah Winfrey
One TV personality almost everyone is familiar with is Oprah. Known for her television show The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has made waves in the world of entertainment. She is also known for co-producing a Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, establishing O, The Oprah Magazine, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) as well as creating Oprah.com.

Harriet Tubman
After being born into slavery, Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad and helped many enslaved men and women escape. She led many people to freedom with her bravery and connection with antislavery activists.

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks gained her notoriety as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and is known for starting the Montgomery bus boycott after refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. She has been called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” by the United States Congress.

John Lewis
John Lewis was chairman Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as well as one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He was an essential part of the Civil Rights Movement and ending legalized racial segregation.

Alexander Miles
If you’ve ever ridden in an elevator, you can thank Alexander Miles for the automatic opening doors; he was awarded the patent for this invention in 1887. Mills was riding in an elevator with his daughter and he deemed an elevator shaft door left open could be dangerous.

Mary Kenner
Mary Kenner was an inventor famous for her development of the sanitary belt, the precursor to the self-adhesive maxi pad. However, due to racial discrimination, the idea wasn’t adopted for thirty years. She has five patents for various household items.

Maya Angelou
Known for her many famous pieces of writing, Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. Over fifty years, she wrote a number of autobiographies, essays, poems, plays, movies and television shows. She also received over 50 honorary degrees as well as awards for her writing.

LeBron James
Along with being considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, LeBron James also started the LeBron James Family Foundation to help create generational change for the children and families of LeBron’s hometown in Akron, Ohio.

Malcolm X
As a popular spokesperson at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X encouraged Black Americans to protect themselves against racism. He preached a much different lesson than Martin Luther King Jr. who preached nonviolence.

Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was the Supreme Court’s first African American justice as well as a prominent civil rights activist. He served on the court for 24 years and helped with influential rulings at the time of the Civil Rights Movement such as the case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the United States during the 20th century. He broke the color barrier of the MLB when he played for the National League Brooklyn Dodgers as second baseman with the jersey number 42.

Black Music Month via Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

THE BLACKHOUSE FOUNDATION 15th YEAR CELEBRATION

THE BLACKHOUSE FOUNDATION WRAPS 2022 FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING WITH A CELEBRATION OF 15 YEARS AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Reaffirms Commitment to Education by Introducing The International Screenwriter’s Lab

With festivities underway, The Blackhouse Foundation has curated dynamic conversations in celebration of the culture’s premiere thought leaders, with a lineup including Regina Hall, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Richard Lawson, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, industry executives across film, television, visual media and more!

The Blackhouse Foundation’s programming slate will culminate with a celebratory look back at the foundation’s 15 year history at The Sundance Film Festival, its evolution, and a look towards the future of Blackhouse. Executive Director Jenean Glover will moderate this discussion with Blackhouse Chairman and Co-Founder Brickson Diamond, Co-Founder and Board Member Carol Ann Shine, and Board Members Pauline Fischer, Datari Turner, and Dolly Turner. Register now via Crowdcast to attend! 

As The Blackhouse Foundation steps into its 15th year, Blackhouse reaffirms its commitment to education and to creating opportunities for Black filmmakers domestically and internationally. The Blackhouse Foundation, in partnership with Pauline Fischer’s PMF Media Group and VentureLift Africa, recently introduced the International Scriptwriter’s Lab, a creative accelerator and fellowship program whose core mission is to support global, emerging storytellers of compelling film and television projects and help position the participants on a path to project launch. Focusing on Kenyan participants this year – the five Fellows of the inaugural cohort consist of screenwriters Damaris Irungu, Voline Ogutu, Carolyne Kemunto, Wanjiru Kairu and Grace Irungu – the goal is to create a bridge between African and Hollywood-based storytellers, especially African-American storytellers, and help position all participants for success through increased preparedness and connection and to create and nurture a pipeline of talented creative voices across the region.

Today’s Programming Schedule at The Blackhouse!

Building Inclusive Content at Lionsgate

Date: Sunday, 1/23

Time: 1pm – 2pm MT

The Blackhouse Foundation is proud to present a fireside chat with Lionsgate on the future of inclusive content. Join their President of Motion Picture Group, Nathan Kahane, and Head of Inclusive Content, Kamala Avila-Salmon, for an intimate conversation with Blackhouse CEO, Brickson Diamond, on how this leading film studio is building an intentional and integrated roadmap for a more diverse and inclusive film slate for years to come.

Onyx Collective Presents: Summer of Soul, A Necessary Story

Date: Sunday, 1/23

Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm MT

Join Summer of Soul Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Onyx Collective’s President Tara Duncan for an intimate conversation about Black erasure and getting history right. Moderated by The Atlantic’s Hannah Giorgis, they will reflect on the importance of building transformative narratives and curating these untold stories that have the power to change the world.

Celebrating 15 Years of the Blackhouse at Sundance

Date: Sunday, 1/23

Time: 4pm – 5pm MT

The Blackhouse Foundation remains a linchpin for culture on a global scale through engagements at Sundance and beyond. But how did we get here? Join the foundation’s leadership as they recap their illustrious 15-year evolution.

For 2022, The Blackhouse Foundation proudly welcomes Meta back as Presenting Sponsor. Onyx Collective joins The Blackhouse Foundation as Select Sponsor, while Lionsgate and Participant contribute as Supporting Sponsors and ICM Partners joins as Sponsor.

The Blackhouse Foundation continues to champion and support leading black writers, directors, producers, crew, and talent throughout film, television, digital media, and beyond with an unshakable platform.

ABOUT THE BLACKHOUSE FOUNDATION:

The Blackhouse Foundation works to expand opportunities for Black content creators by providing pathways to opportunities within film, television, digital, and emerging platforms. Blackhouse provides opportunities for minority creatives to learn about the financial production, marketing, and distribution resources that will raise the profile of their content, while also providing participants with a nucleus for continuing support, community, and education.

Cartooning While Black cartoon via Will Brierly for use by 360 Magazine

Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit

Black cartoonists from The New Yorker present their work at the Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit at ChaShaMa.

Chashama and Art To Ware present Cartooning While Black, a preview of the art from the upcoming One Idea Press title release, The Anti-Racism Activity Book. Art from the volume, written and illustrated by cartoonist and comedian Victor Varnado, will be shown alongside fellow black New Yorker cartoonists, Yasin OsmanAkeem S Roberts, and Jerald Lewis II. This exhibition is curated by Rebecca Mills.

LOCATION: ChaShaMa Gallery, 320 West 23rd Street, NY, NY

WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2021, to Thursday, August 5th.

The Anti-Racism Activity Book is a social satire created in the style of a children’s puzzle and coloring book. The exhibit will feature crosswords, word finds, and other nostalgic activity book throwbacks, combined with original cartooning work from Varnado, all using humor to illustrate how dumb racism is.

“Traditionally, very few black cartoonists have appeared in the New Yorker, but recent efforts by the magazine and the cartoon editor Emma Allen have made an exhibit like this possible,” said Jason Chatfield, president of The National Cartoonists Society and New Yorker cartoonist.

“Yasin Osman, Akeem S Roberts, Jerald Lewis II, and Victor Varnado’s illustrative works shown together in the same exhibit will be the first time such a presentation has ever happened,” he added.

As a comedian, Victor Varnado has appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His writing and cartooning work have been showcased in MAD magazineVICEMarvel Comics and Salon. Varnado was born legally blind and is albinistic. His New Yorker cartoon created in response to the national unrest following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was one of the magazine’s most engaging pieces of content in 2020. Like Floyd, Victor also grew up in Minneapolis.

Shining artwork courtesy of Capitol Music Group and Motown Records for use by 360 Magazine

Fire in Little Africa

“SHINING” THE FIRST SINGLE AND VIDEO FROM FIRE IN LITTLE AFRICA IS OUT TODAY VIA MOTOWN RECORDS/BLACK FORUM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BOB DYLAN CENTER AND WOODY GUTHRIE CENTER

“Shining” is a celebratory song and video conveying the peak of black excellence that defined the Greenwood District 100 Years Ago. Watch the “Shining” music video here and listen to it here

Fire in Little Africa, a groundbreaking album of original material, written and recorded by a collective of Oklahoma hip hop artists to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre releases “Shining” today along with a striking visual. It is the first single from the album that will be released on May 28 by Motown Records/Black Forum in partnership with Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Center and Woody Guthrie Center. Watch, post and share the music video here.

“Shining” was produced by Executive Producer Dr. View and features Tulsa area artists Steph Simon, Dialtone, Ayilla and Jerica Wortham. The video was produced and directed by Boomintree Films with Assistant Director avitiuh.

Giving context to the video, Dr. View shares,”’Shining’ is a trip back in time to Tulsa in 1920, just before Black Wall Street was attacked, bombed and burned to the ground in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The video conveys the peak of Black Excellence that defined the Greenwood district 100 years ago and ties it to the Fire in Little Africa movement that is showing the world how Tulsa still shines today.” He continues, “We know that the story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre is one filled with pain, darkness and trauma for Black people, but the story of Tulsa in 2021 is about the greatness that rose from the ashes. “Shining” humanizes the victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre, taking them out of the history books and showing them on a night on the town living life joyfully. That is what Greenwood was, is, and will always be about.”

ABOUT FIRE IN LITTLE AFRICA

The 21-track collection gets to the truth of what happened on May 31 and June 1, 1921 when a white mob descended on the streets of Greenwood, then a prosperous Tulsa neighborhood known as Black Wall Street, and burned down the business district, destroying roughly 1,500 homes, killing hundreds, and leaving thousands of Black Tulsans homeless. For years, this historic, albeit dire, chapter was left out of classrooms and textbooks as the city attempted to erase this part of its past. The artists heard on Fire in Little Africa get to the truth through urgent songs, recalling stories told and stories lived in hope to usher in a new era for Tulsa as they help the community process this generational trauma through music.

Motown Records Chairman & CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam said, “Fire in Little Africa is a powerful and timely project that will reward listeners with a sense of discovery. Not only does it examine a largely overlooked chapter in our history, the album also pulls the curtain back on the vibrant hip hop scene that has been Oklahoma’s best-kept secret. Like the citizens who created Black Wall Street, the artists of Fire in Little Africa are driven by creativity, love, and an uplifting, ego-free sense of community. The project aligns perfectly with Black Forum’s commitment to introducing the next generation of game changers.”

Stevie “Dr. View” Johnson, PhD, Manager, Education & Diversity Outreach at the Woody Guthrie Center | Bob Dylan Center and the album’s executive producer added, “Fire in Little Africa has evolved into a communal hip hop movement and we’re excited that we get to share the flavor, history and legacy of Black Wall Street with the world, in collaboration with the amazing leadership of the Motown/Black Forum family. We’re grateful for Ethiopia’s foresight in providing us an opportunity to share our important stories with the world. There are Black Wall Streets across the diaspora and we unequivocally know that Fire in Little Africa will inspire many people. In the words of Steph Simon, everything is us.”  

In this feature, Rolling Stones noted, Fire in Little Africa is poised to teach the world about that long-suppressed history, from locals who grew up in a community that still lives with the aftermath of the massacre. Just as important, the artists involved in the project also hope it serves as a launching-pad moment for Tulsa’s hip-hop scene, which has long flown under the national radar

The album was recorded in Greenwood over a five-day period in March 2020. Studios were set up at the Greenwood Cultural Center and other locations, including the former home of 1921 massacre mastermind/KKK leader Tate Brady. The house is now owned by former NFL first-round draft pick and Tulsa native Felix Jones. The Tulsa World was on hand to speak with the artists involved in the historic sessions. Read the article here and check out the accompanying video here

“Fireside with Dr. View” is a weekly podcast featuring “Dr. View” in conversation with thought leaders in activism, academia and culture, centered on the movement behind the Fire in Little Africa music. Listen to “Fireside with Dr. View” here. Hosts Ali Shaw and Doc Free sit down with Fire in Little Africa artists, Tulsa community leaders and national voices for conversations on music and culture in the “Fire in Little Africa” podcast, which can be found here

Located in the Tulsa Arts District, the Woody Guthrie Center opened in 2013. The Bob Dylan Center is expected to open on the same block within the next year. Both are projects of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the primary funder for Fire in Little Africa. The album is chronicled in a documentary film, which will be released later this year.

Fire in Little Africa marks the first new material released by Black Forum since the label’s relaunch earlier this year. Black Forum originally debuted in 1970 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam, which won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. The label reissued Dr. King’s influential speech earlier this year.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Chadwick Boseman of Black Panther for 360 magazine article

Chadwick Boseman

Although Chadwick Boseman passed earlier this year, his 44th birthday would be coming up on November 29. To commemorate Boseman, National Today has created Chadwick Boseman Day in his honor.

Boseman accomplished many things over his 44 years of life and has inspired people everywhere. He always encompassed black excellence and this shines through in each role he portrayed throughout his career.

As T’CHalla in Black Panther, Boseman gave young people of color a hero to look up to in the Marvel universe. This was a monumental role as the first black superhero for Marvel. He also represented the first African American Supreme Court Justice in the movie Marshall. In the famous film 42, Boseman took on the lead as Jackie Robinson, the first black MLB player. These roles only highlight Boseman’s wildly successful career. He took on powerful roles that gave representation to the African American community and will be remembered for these roles and many others.

Chadwick Boseman passed after a four year battle with colon cancer on Friday, August 28, 2020. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage three cancer which had progressed to stage four. Boseman was able to pass at home surrounded by family.

Boseman’s passing, whose struggle with cancer was not often in the public eye, came as a shock to a majority. Even Sarah Halley Finn, who casted Boseman for the role of King T’Challa in “Black Panther” did not know he was battling cancer.
According to Vulture, “Finn had no idea the actor had been diagnosed with stage three cancer when cameras rolled on Black Panther in 2017.”

Chadwick Boseman not only was an actor, but a pillar in the black community often playing roles of historical black men, such as Jackie Robinison in “42”. His latest role as King T’Challa in “Black Panther” and the Avengers series was a historical role itself.

The black community had never seen a super hero represent them before and Chadwick Boseman’s adaptation of T’Challa provided many young boys and girls a super hero that looked just like them.

Boseman’s humble spirit was always felt throughout Hollywood. CNN entertainment shared the story of Boseman praising fellow actor, Denzel Washington, for his charity that allowed Boseman to pursue acting.

From pulled quotes from Boseman’s speech at the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, the story of how Washington paid for Boseman’s tuition at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program after Boseman was accepted but could not attend because he could not afford it. Washington not only helped pay for this program, but helped pay for Boseman to attend Howard University.

 Boseman recounted how the sponsorship was “an offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith.”

“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.”

Boseman’s role as T’Challa was much more than that, a role. This role became a national symbol of black power and strength. The “Wakanda Forever” gesture of arms crossed over the chest, became a symbol itself of perseverance and pride. 

CBS New York spoke to people in New York about how Blank Panther made them feel. “Thirteen-year-old Brehima Gueye says watching Boseman in the 2018 Marvel film “Black Panther” gave him purpose and a sense of pride.”

According to CBS, “Family members say Boseman was a true fighter who continued to work while undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy for colon cancer that progressed to stage four.” 

On August 29, 2020 fans in Los Angeles attended a vigil at Leimert Park where they remembered the impact Boseman had within the black community. The Los Angeles Times stated, “Boseman’s death in the midst of so much racial tension in the country serves as reminder to keep fighting for racial justice like he did.”

Fans of the franchise worry about how it will continue on without Boseman but are hopeful that Wakanda and King T’Challa’s legacy will live on.

Boseman’s role in not only Hollywood, but within the black community and as a symbol of black strength will not be forgotten. While his role for the Avengers franchise brought monetary achievements, it brought much more than that. It brought a symbol of power, endurance and hope that will forever be immortalized on screen.

Nicole Salazar Illustration of Jackie Ormes

Google Doodle Celebrates Jackie Ormes

By Catherine Martin

Today, Google Doodle honors Jackie Ormes — the first, and only, Black female newspaper cartoonist during the 1940s. An interactive comic strip slideshow of Ormes replaces the traditional Google logo, with each slide representing stages of her life.

Google chose her due to her incredible activism work, shown through her cartoons, and the profound and positive impact she had for Black women everywhere.

While flipping through the slideshow, you learn Jackie Ormes was born August 1, 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — where she taught herself to draw at an early age. Ormes progresses into a talented cartoonist that eventually challenges derogatory portrayals of Black female characters through her satirical cartoons.

Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

On September 1, 1945 Ormes released her single-panel cartoon, “Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger,” that introduced the groundbreaking Ginger and her 6-year-old sister Patty-Jo. In addition, this single-panel cartoon ran in the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper.

Ginger is a fashion-forward pin-up girl and Patty-Jo is a precocious child. The goal of this imagery is to challenge the racist stereotypes that Black women and girls are uneducated and subservient. Following its success, Ormes produced the first positive African-American doll made in the U.S., the “Patty-Jo” doll; therefore, furthering positive depictions of Black women and girls.

Jackie Ormes’ Notable Work and Successes

Previously, Ormes’ published her first comic strip through the Pittsburgh Courier,Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem” in 1937. This cartoon reflected the struggles of escaping racism by migrating from the South to the North.

Following her work throughout the years, Ormes continued to challenge relevant issues. Such as, “romantic heartbreak, environmental justice, and gender inequality,” Google says. Regardless of the challenges these characters face, they all preserved as confident, intelligent and independent women.

Ormes retired in 1956, but that did not stop her dedication for activism and stripping away negative labels that too often accompanied Black women and girls. Due to her achievements, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame inducted her in 2014, followed by the Will Eisner Comic Industry Hall of Fame in 2018.

For information regarding Ormes’ life and achievements, visit the Jackie Ormes website HERE.

Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Virtual Music Festival

Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G (CMF) won’t skip a beat in 2020. Through a marathon of new and previous music content, consumer engagement opportunities and digital presence, CMF is creating the #FEELSLIKECMF Virtual Weekend Experience, July 23-25. The innovative free event, to be available on cincymusicfestival.com, will focus on celebration, community and local impact and is also supported by AARP.   

“Music provides hope, comfort and determination during uncertain times,” said Joe Santangelo, producer of CMF. “Leading up to and during #FEELSLIKECMF Weekend, we will strategically work to uplift our neighbors, support local black artists and musicians and drive commerce to local Black owned businesses and restaurants. This event promises to grow awareness of regional organizations that support the African American community, and share the positivity and history of our Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G.” #FEELSLIKECMF.

Schedule of Events

THURSDAY, JULY 23  

Triiibe recorded live at Corporate  

Aprina Johnson recorded live at Black Coffee 

 DJ Vader recorded live at Revel DJ Ellery    

Special appearance: The State of Black Culture featuring Rev. Al Sharpton from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

FRIDAY, JULY 24 

Lauren Eylise recorded live at Paul Brown Stadium 

Kathy Wade & Joe Santangelo 

DJ Baby Rome recorded live at Paul Brown Stadium 

Regina Belle   

Special attraction: Cincinnati Music Festival Outdoor Art Museum at Washington Park    

SATURDAY, JULY 25

DJ DNICE LIVE from Club Quarantine Additional weekend entertainment will include shout-outs from The O’Jays’ Eddie Levert, Biz Markie and more. 

The Cincinnati Music festival presented by P&G returns to Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, July 22-24, 2021. The lineup features multi-talented singer-songwriter Janet Jackson and will also include an expanded and exciting Thursday lineup at the Andrew J. Brady ICON Music Center at The Banks. Tickets are on sale at CincyMusicFestival.com

Cincinnati Music Festival: Largest Tourism Weekend of the Year in Cincinnati A recent study conducted by the UC Economics Center and commissioned by the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau shows the Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G provides a $107.5 million economic impact to the region, making it the largest annual driver of tourism in the tristate. 

Cincinnati Music Festival began in 1962 and is one of the largest music festivals in the United States attracting over 90,000+ people from around the country with its roster of leading R&B, jazz, soul and hip-hop artists creating an economic impact of $107 million for Cincinnati. CMF is held at Paul Brown Stadium in partnership with the Cincinnati Bengals. Procter & Gamble is the presenting sponsor for the Cincinnati Music Festival. 

Follow Cincinnati Music Festival: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Mali Music Releases New Tracks

RCA Inspiration has partnered with acclaimed three-time GRAMMY® nominated artist, songwriter, and producer Mali Music and will be releasing new music in 2020 starting with the single “Let Go.” In partnership with RCA Inspiration and Mali’s imprint, K Approved Enterprises, “Let Go” is available today on all digital music providers.

Mali Music also released a new lyric visual for “Let Go” via his YouTube channel. Written by Mali Music and produced by David “D1” Grant, Jr., “Let Go” showcases the distinctive blend of contemporary soulful R&B, hip-hop and inspirational conscious lyricism that have garnered Mali critical and widespread acclaim as one of the music industry’s most compelling creators, with Mali speaking on common temptations we face in life and being strong in spirit facing God. Reaching fans across R&B, hip-hop, gospel, and urban contemporary genres, Mali Music has garnered recognition from the GRAMMYs® with nominations in the categories of Traditional R&B Performance for his song “Still,” Urban Contemporary Album for his hit album Mali Is…, and Gospel Performance/Song for “I Believe”.

Delivering powerful performances on numerous stages from the BET Awards to American Idol, Mali Music’s musical versatility has also garnered a Dove Award win for the song “Tell the World” (with Lecrae) and an NAACP Image Award nomination for the song “Gonna Be Alright”. Ron Hill, RCAI’s VP of Artist Development says, “Mali is one of the most talented and creative artists of this era. I’m excited to partner with him and the K Approved Enterprises’ team to usher in the next phase of his career”.

About the venture with RCAI and his new music, Mali says, “The song “Let Go,” along with the opportunity to have partners who believe in me and understand my vision, is beyond a dream come true. This feels like my purpose is being fulfilled. Not only am I excited about what’s coming down the pipeline for me, I’m also proud of how it’s being prepared, and confident in the ability of each individual connected to my success”.

Stream and download “Let Go” by Mali Music:
Spotify
Apple Music
Tidal

To connect with Mali Music, please visit:
Facebook: malimusicnote
Instagram: @malimusic
Twitter: @malimusic