“AND ALL THAT JAZZ”! WORKS BY TRACY SUGARMAN – ARTIST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY,TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION
September 2021. Artworks by the American illustrator, Tracy Sugarman (1921-2013), who documented some of the most momentous events in American history, such as Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964 (a milestone in the civil rights movement in America) and images of World War II, will be offered in Dreweatts Modern and Contemporary Art sale on October 12, 2021.
As well as encapsulating historical moments in a unique way, Sugarman illustrated hundreds of books and record covers in a career spanning 50 years. The group of works coming up for auction spotlights Sugarman’s work for the music industry. Between 1954 and 1959 he produced more than a hundred album covers for the record labels Grand Award and Waldorf Music Hall Records. These were later reissued on CDS.
His illustrations were published in hundreds of magazines and books, as well being shown as on TV (PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV). He was in high demand as a multi-talented artist, scriptwriter, producer, and author and won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Art Directors Club in Washington, D.C. He was also a civil rights activist, something he also captured in his artworks.
While carrying out his commissions for the music industry he was given complete artistic freedom to create the works as he wished. Commenting he said: “I had been able to explore every medium from scratch-board to oils, from pastels to watercolors and seen them reproduced. I had captured Mahalia Jackson singing gospel and Knuckles O’Toole playing ragtime piano.” A work in 2007 marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with jazz and the works in this sale show how he creatively captures the spirit and energy of Jazz.
In the Studio (lot 301)in its bright red hues, communicates the passion and vibrancy of Jazz and music in general. Dark lines contrast the colour, creating the shapes of the figures, resulting in a simple, but powerful piece. It carries an estimate of £400-£600. Portrait of a Trumpet Player (lot 299)by Tracy Sugarman captures a trumpet player in full flow. Created in wax crayon, the raw image brings the paper to life. It is estimated to fetch £400-£600. The Thinker (Lot 300) in wax crayon and watercolor shows the creative process and thinking behind the creation of music. In rough strokes Sugarman conveys all of this in a minimal way, creating the impact by its very simplicity. The work is estimated to fetch £400-£600.
More works by Sugarman can be seen in the online catalogue, follow the link here
The organizers for the March On For Voting Rights announced legendary R&B singer and radio host Al B. Sure! and national radio host and activist Joe Madison will serve as co-MC’s for the August 28 event in Washington, DC. The two hosts will lead a day-long march through Washington, DC and the speaker’s program which will include human and civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and many others who will issue a call to action to pass federal voting rights legislation.
Al B. Sure! is a singer, songwriter, record producer, radio host and former record executive who exploded onto the scene from Boston in 1988 with the best-selling single Nite and Day, and has been a force within the music industry since. As a writer and producer, he introduced to the music industry such multi-platinum acts as Jodeci and teen R&B performer Tevin Campbell, as well as Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case and Usher. Al B. Sure!’s work as a change agent finds him intersecting his role as the host of a leading nationally syndicated radio program, Love and R&B, to becoming a mouthpiece for the amplification of social justice and civil rights issues. In the current climate, he utilizes his platforms to highlight the needs for racial justice, education equity, voter education, criminal justice reform, mentorship and much more.
Al B. Sure! commented, “It is an honor to help mark this urgent moment by sending a message to the country that our votes will not be suppressed! Our voting rights are under attack all over America, and the people of D.C. are still being denied the full representation they deserve in Congress. I am looking forward to a great day of peaceful collective action and a clear message that the time is now for Congress to act in defense of our rights.”
Joe Madison is a groundbreaking radio personality and civil rights activist who has devoted his career to raising awareness about issues around the world, encouraging dialogue among people of different backgrounds, and raising money to support multicultural education and institutions. Known as “The Black Eagle,” Joe can be heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM’s Urban View.
Joe Madison added, “My radio audience cares deeply about the issue of voting rights, so I look forward to using this opportunity to give voices to the millions of Americans who demand action from Congress to protect our voting rights, and seek full representation for the 700,000 residents of Washington D.C., most of whom are Black and Brown. This march will bring together leading civil rights advocates and every day people fighting the good fight at the grassroots level. We will put democracy into action.”
About March On For Voting Rights
March On for Washington and Voting Rights is a mass mobilization to demand that elected officials protect democracy, denounce voter suppression, make D.C. a state, and ensure fair, easy access to the vote. On August 28, the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, we will march on cities across America to demand that the vision of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech be deferred no longer. That means passing the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act. The march is led by Drum Major Institute, March On, the National Action Network, Future Coalition, SEIU, and 51 for 51, and is joined by over 140 other partners. The march is funded through the #ForJohn campaign, a grassroots effort co-founded by Martin Luther King III and Arndrea King to fight voter suppression.
About March On
March On is a political organization composed of women-led political activist groups that grew out of the women’s marches of January 21, 2017. They have come together as a united force to take concrete, coordinated actions at the federal, state and local levels to impact elections and move the country in a progressive direction. For more information, click HERE.
About the Drum Major Institute
The Drum Major Institute advances the core mission of our founder, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to assure that the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice. Dr. King’s legacy and voice are as important today as they were upon our founding 60 years ago. To meet this historic moment, we are lending our unique ability to facilitate dialogue and collaboration to support the countless courageous acts of individuals and organizations across the nation and the world to ensure that the vital conversations that are now starting will sustain and advance far beyond this moment in time—and lead to tangible lasting outcomes. We encourage all people to embrace their role in the King legacy, take action in their community and strive to build the Beloved Community. Learn more HERE.
Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide, and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, click HERE.
About National Action Network
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression, or sexuality. For more information, click HERE.
About Future Coalition
Founded by youth activists for youth activists, Future Coalition is a network and community for youth-led organizations and Gen Z and young millennial leaders from across the country that came into being as a project of March On in the fall of 2018. Future Coalition works collaboratively to provide young people with the resources, tools, and support they need to create the change they want to see in their communities and in this country. For more information, click HERE.
About 51 for 51
51 for 51 is a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal representation for the over 700,000 D.C. residents who remain locked out of our democracy. The coalition of 20 progressive groups believe American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws. Already, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Senators Warren, Markey, Gillibrand and Hickenlooper have endorsed 51 for 51’s proposed path to statehood.
Celebrate National Book Lovers Day with These 15 Tennessee Must Reads
Today marks National Book Lovers Day, a day to celebrate reading. Find your favorite reading nook and cozy up with these unforgettable stories about Tennessee.
Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien
Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma has the complete collection of the accomplished Aviatrix, Louise Thadden, including her pilot’s license signed by Orville Wright and original racing trophies.
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge tells the story of the Secret City, known for its role in developing the technology that ended World War II. Learn about the fascinating history, and past and modern scientific achievements.
Respect Yourself: Stax Records & The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon
Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis tells the legacy of one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time that spans more than half a century through interactive exhibits and galleries.
The Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick
Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis takes fans on an unforgettable journey through the revolutionary life and legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Tina Turner: My Love Story by Tina Turner
West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville houses the one-room schoolhouse Tina Turner once attended. The Tina Turner Museum includes memorabilia and costumes and lets fans explore what life was like for the icon.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning is a restored home on the National Register of Historic Places features Haley’s work, with childhood memorabilia and references to the people who inspired his characters in Roots.
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library features oral histories, firsthand photographs and provides a current voice for open dialogue and discovery. Witness Walls is public artwork inspired by the events and people who made history in Nashville during the Civil Rights Movement.
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Carnton in Franklin. The book tells the brave story of Carrie McGavock, whose home became a field hospital as the Battle of Franklin in 1864 raged across fields.
Sgt. York: His Life, Legend & Legacy by John Perry
Historic Knoxville: The Curious Visitor’s Guide to its Stories and Places by Jack Neely.
Stop by Visit Knoxville at WDVX to pick up a guide, which encompasses old brick buildings of Knoxville’s core, Market Square, historic neighborhoods, parks and cemeteries, as well as suggested literary walks.
The Last Night on the Titanic by Veronica Hinke
Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Discover stories of passengers and crew who sailed the Titanic as tour guides and interactive galleries bring them to life.
Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann
Dolly Parton Statue in Sevierville is a tribute to the legend in her hometown. Explore family fun at the Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. In Nashville, learn the stories of icons with exhibits and programs at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Then, grab cocktails under a pink umbrella next to a Dolly Parton statue made from pink chicken wire at the rooftop bar White Limozeen at the Graduate Hotel.
Country Music: An Illustrated History by Dayton Duncan based on Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns
Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers by Preston Lauterbach
The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, Dr. Withers’ last working studio on 333 Beale Street, houses 7,000 square feet of history, powerful images of key figures in the Civil Rights Movement, music, sports and African American life in Memphis.
Old Glory, From Salem to Nashville: The Life and Times of Patriot Captain William Driver
Historic Mansker’s Station in Goodlettsville is nationally recognized as a top living history site. Learn about the life of Captain Driver and his impact in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The Bowen Plantation House and Kasper Mansker’s log station serve as a backdrop for daily presentations and special events.
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music, that creates a vacation that is the Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee. Explore more at their website and join other Tennessee travelers by following TNVacation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and Snapchat.
The first bronze statue to be lifted from its stone pedestal was that of Robert E. Lee, the infamous commander of the Confederate Army, which stood in Market Street Park. This public park was once named in the general’s honor until June of 2017 when it became known as Emancipation Park; one year later, it was yet again renamed as Market Street Park.
As the crane was put in place to remove the statue of Lee, the city’s mayor, Nikuyah Walker, spoke to onlookers. “Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” she said.
Two hours later, the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson—who gained his enduring nickname after successfully commanding a brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run—was taken down from its place in Court Square Park. Similar to the tale of Market Street Park, this spot once boasted the name of Stonewall Jackson, was renamed Justice Park and has since become Court Square Park.
In response to the removal of both statues, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia Jalane Schmidt said, “I literally felt lighter when the statues came down, it was such a relief.”
According to CNN, both statues have been placed in storage while the city pursues different places to preserve and, more importantly, contextualize them such as museums, historical societies or Civil War battlefields. The city has reportedly already received 10 offers, six of which are out of state and four of which are within the state of Virginia.
This ultimate removal and push for contextualization came after nearly five years of heated court battles and protests. Back in 2016, then-high school student and current student at the University of Virginia, Zyahna Bryant, launched a petition to get the statues removed from their dominant positions over the city. Early the following year, city council voted to take down the statues, but this action was thwarted by a legal challenge. During the summer of 2017, “the statues of Lee and Jackson—and threats to remove them—served as a rallying cry for the far right,” as NPR said. On August 11 and 12 of that summer, this tension boiled over into the horrific, violent and racist riots of the Unite the Right Rally. On the second day of rioting, white supremacist neo-Nazis came to a head with counter-protesters when one man drove his car into a crowd, killing one woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 19 others, only a few steps away from the statue of Robert E. Lee.
It was not until April of this year that the Supreme Court of Virginia overturned the original challenge to the removal of the statues. On June 7, the city council voted once again to remove the state-owned statues.
The racist legacy of these statues and the necessity of their overdue removal goes deeper than the obvious immortalization of individuals who dedicated themselves to the perpetuation of the enslavement of Black people. These statues are also artifacts of the Jim Crow era in Virginia, seeing as they were not erected in the immediate wake of the Civil War, but in fact decades later. The Robert E. Lee statue, for example, was not dedicated until 1924. NPR described the unveiling ceremonies of these statues:
“Charlottesville’s statues of Lee and Jackson were erected in the early 1920s with large ceremonies that included Confederate veteran reunions, parades and balls. At one event during the 1921 unveiling of the Jackson statue, children formed a living Confederate flag on the lawn of a school down the road from Vinegar Hill, a prominent Black neighborhood. The Jackson statue was placed on land that had once been another prosperous Black neighborhood.”
The programs coordinator from the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, Sterling Howell, said on the installment of Confederate memorials, “This was at the height of Jim Crow segregation, at the height of lynchings in American history. […] There was a clear statement that [Black people] weren’t welcome.”
The first statue was of Revolutionary War general George Rogers Clark on his horse in front of three crouching Native Americans and two frontiersmen behind them, one of whom was raising his rifle. This statue sat on University of Virginia grounds, across from the popular dining and shopping area called “The Corner.”
The second statue depicted famous explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, standing tall and looking outwards while Sacagawea squatted beside them. The statue stood outside a federal courthouse downtown.
According to city council member Michael Payne, the council voted in favor of the removal of the Lewis and Clark statue in the fall of 2019. The process of removal was significantly sped up, however, after the contracting company that removed the Lee and Jackson statues offered last-minute to take down the George Rogers Clark and Lewis and Clark statues at no additional cost.
While these four statues no longer loom over the busy streets and passing-by residents of Charlottesville, Virginia, the fight to come to terms with the racist history of Virginia, the South and the entirety of America is nowhere close to over. In Charlottesville alone, ties to this dark past are enduring. As just one example, the man who commissioned all four of the aforementioned statues, Paul Goodloe McIntire, is still immortalized across the city, including as the name for the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.
Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.
This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.
The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others.
In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.
360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.
In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.
As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.
Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives.
The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.
Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.
Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.
Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.
Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.
Chapter 5:Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.
Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.
Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.
Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”
Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.
Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.
Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving.
Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.
Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.
THE SHABAZZ CENTER AND SCHOLLY ANNOUNCE THE MALCOLM X AND DR. BETTY SHABAZZ SCHOLARSHIP FUND,TO CELEBRATE MALCOLM X’S 96th BIRTHDAY, SCHOLLY AND THE SHABAZZ CENTER WILL BE AWARDING THREE STUDENTS $10,000 SCHOLARSHIPS
To celebrate Malcolm X’s 96th birthday and to honor he and his wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz’s legacy, the Shabazz Center has partnered with the scholarship search app Schollyto launch the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Scholarship Fund.
Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, wanted to create the scholarship program to honor her parents’ commitment to education and empowerment of people of color. My father, Malcolm X, once said that, Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today, Shabazz said. The opportunity to support young developing leaders and change-makers through the Scholly Scholarship in partnership with The Shabazz Center is such a rewarding investment that equally honors the lasting legacy of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz.
Every year, thousands of graduates leave colleges and universities with millions in student debt, making it harder to begin a family, start a small business, or buy a house. Since 2015, Scholly has helped students of all ages earn more than $100 million in scholarships.
Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz are icons of the civil rights movement so the Scholly team is excited to be a part of this program to help empower even more students, said Scholly CEO Christopher Gray. Also to announce such a program on Malcolm X’s birthday is a great way to honor his legacy.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, students would need to complete the application, which includes an essay writing component, to receive one of three $10,000 scholarships to be used at any college or university. Students can apply for the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Legacy Scholarship by visiting their website starting May 19th. The deadline to apply for the award is July 15th and the scholarship recipients will be announced in August.
Scholly is the #1 rated scholarship app in the world and has helped students win more than $100 million dollars since 2015. Scholly provides students and families access to thousands of scholarships, for college or graduate school, tailored just for them! Scholly also provides a service that gives brands, celebrities, and non profits a turn key way to create, promote, manage, and payout scholarships and student loan payoffs.
About the Shabazz Center
Rooted in our abiding belief in Black power, possibility, and sovereignty, The Shabazz Center facilitates thought exchange around racial equity, justice, and cultural production, in the spirit of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Through global and local outreach, educational programming, and engagement with the African Diaspora, The Shabazz Center is a generative, action-oriented community organization committed to growing social movements that empower and prepare people for leadership in civil society.
Respect is a new biopic that covers an iconic female performer, Civil Rights Activist, and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.
It will star another icon in her own right, Jennifer Hudson, as Franklin. This is not her first time acting, and has also been in films like Spike Lee’s Chi-raq and in the first season of the Fox hit series: Empire. Given her background as a singer, her acting chops and what we’ve seen of the film so far, I’m certain Hudson will be excellent. The film also stars Forest Whitaker (Star Wars, Black Panther) and Tituss Burgess (The Unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt.)
According to Billboard, the film has had a rough journey, being originally slated for release in the fall of 2020, and has been delayed several times due first to the pandemic and then because of a number of other factors. Thankfully, the film is finally set to release so we’ll get to see the film that’s been in the works for so long.
Director Liesl Tommy makes her feature film debut with Respect. She’s previously been known for directing plays. Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Eclipsed, and is an Associate Artist at the Berkeley Rep and an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees.
With a story by Callie Khouri (Oscar® winner for Writing, Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play The Good Negro written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s hit series: The Americans which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as an Emmy® and WGA Award nominations.
The film is set to release in theatres on August 13, 2021. To watch the new trailer, click HERE.
JENNIFER HUDSON ANNOUNCES ORIGINAL SONG FROM ARETHA FRANKLIN BIOPIC RESPECT: “HERE I AM (SINGING MY WAY HOME)” CO-WRITTEN WITH CAROLE KING OUT FRIDAY
RESPECT ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK OUT AUGUST 13 VIA EPIC RECORDS
IMPACTING RADIO ON JUNE 21
Academy® Award-winning actress and GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson announces a new original song entitled “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” co-written with four time GRAMMY® Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Carole King (marking their first collaboration) and Jamie Hartman [Lewis Capaldi, Christina Aguilera] out Friday. GRAMMY® Award-winning Black Eyed Peas co-founder and mega-producer will.i.am produced the track. Hudson announced the collaboration on her social platforms this morning – HERE.
Paving the way for Hudson’s blockbuster bigscreen turn as Aretha Franklin, it will appear on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to RESPECTand serve as the film’s only original song. Hudson was handpicked by Franklin to portray her in the film from MGM, which opens in theatres nationwide on August 13. The soundtrack will be available on the same day.
Get “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” HERE Friday via Epic Records.
Hudson added, “Music is such a living and breathing character in this film, as it was in Ms. Franklin’s life. The process of creating this song was like constructing the greatest tribute I could possibly offer to her spirit. It was the final exhale of this extraordinary project and one that I let out with complete fulfillment. Being able to do so with Carole and Jamie was an incredible privilege. Carole is one of the greatest songwriters of all time and, whether we were trading stories, playing piano together over video conference, or working through lyrics, it was always a masterclass – both in life and music. Jamie and I have collaborated together in the past and it’s always so wonderful to create with him – he is continuously thinking outside of the box in a way that deepens the musical experience in indescribable ways. Our goal was to show that music was always the anchor for Ms. Franklin, in all that she did, and I hope this song illustrates the strength of her voice – both literally and figuratively – which always brought her home.”
About the collaboration, King commented, “Writing a song with Jamie Hartman and Jennifer Hudson felt both familiar and fresh at the same time. The process of songwriting continues to amaze me. One minute there’s nothing, and then a song grows out of the seed of an idea. The seed was dormant when Jennifer, Jamie, and I first met virtually. Jennifer and I had previously performed together, and I was excited about writing with her for no less than a film called Respect in which Jennifer plays Aretha Franklin! I’m so pleased to have not just one but two songs as part of the soundtrack of Respect-the 21st century song “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” and my 20th century co-write with Gerry Goffin, “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.”
Epic Records Chairwoman and CEO Sylvia Rhonesaid, “What Jennifer, Carole, and Jamie have created together is nothing short of historic. It celebrates the legacy of Aretha Franklin by channeling her spirit and style in an original, no less. As soon as I heard it, I was speechless. It has all the elements of a future American songbook staple.”
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” highlights Hudson’s earthquaking range with a seismic crescendo. Right out of the gate, she proclaims, “It’s time for me to sing” over glorious church organ before twinkling piano wraps around her vocals. It officially impacts Hot AC and Urban AC on Monday June 21.
One of the biggest, boldest, and brightest voices in contemporary music, Jennifer Hudson stands alone. Not only is she a two-time GRAMMY® Award winner and best-selling author, but she has received an Academy® Award, a Golden Globe®, and countless other honors as an actress. Her self-titled 2008 debut Jennifer Hudson earned a platinum certification, the 2011 follow-up I Remember Me went gold, and 2014’s JHUD drew a GRAMMY® nod. She has starred in films ranging from Dreamgirls and Sex and the City to Chi-Raq and Sing, in addition to taking over Broadway in The Color Purple, for which the soundtrack garnered Hudson another Grammy win. Along the way, she became a best-selling author and served as a coach on The Voice UK and U.S. In 2019, she appeared as Grizabella in the big-screen adaptation of Cats, and she also contributed “I’ll Fight” to the critically acclaimed documentary RBG, garnering an Academy® Award nomination. In 2021, she stars as Aretha Franklin in director Liesl Tommy’s highly anticipated biopic Respect, of which she is also an executive producer. Franklin personally chose Hudson to star. She will be releasing new music soon.
Jennifer Hudson and RESPECT dazzled the crowd Sunday night at a premiere fit for a queen
Celebrating the legacy of Aretha Franklin was director Liesl Tommy and costars Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Audra McDonald, Tate Donovan, Hailey Kilgore, Saycon Sengbloh, Skye Dakota Turner, screenwriter Tracey Scott Wilson, producers Scott Bernstein, Jonathan Glickman and Stacey Sher, and more.
Other guests included Timbaland, Jennifer Holliday, Debbie Allen, Michael K. Williams, Tori Kelly, Derek Hough, Jordin Sparks, and more
After the premiere, attendees celebrated outside, complete with food trucks and music from Donald Taylor and the LA Mass Choir. Aretha Franklin’s granddaughter Grace Franklin graced the audience with her grandmother’s favorite song, “Ain’t No Way,” and Aretha’s son Edward Franklin sang “My Girl.”
Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.
DIRECTOR: Liesl Tommy
SCREENPLAY BY: Tracey Scott Wilson
STORY BY: Callie Khouri and Tracey Scott Wilson
PRODUCERS: Harvey Mason Jr., Scott Bernstein, p.g.a., Jonathan Glickman, Stacey Sher
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jennifer Hudson, Liesl Tommy, Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth
CAST: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige
FROM METRO GOLDWYN MAYER PICTURES, IN ASSOCIATION WITH BRON CREATIVE AND ONE COMMUNITY
From MGM, Respect follows the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of Franklin’s journey to find her voice.
The SCLC’s Streets to the Suites Campaign Will Target PepsiCo to Help Resolve Dispute Between the Global Food and Beverage Giant and Retired Longtime Hispanic Executive Richard Montanez
Montanez’s Legacy of Creating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for Frito-Lay is Being Challenged by the Company. SCLC President Dr. Charles Steele, Jr. Said Montanez’s Contributions Should Not Be Diminished
Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said the SCLC will lead a campaign to help resolve a dispute between PepsiCo and retired, long time Hispanic executive Richard Montanez, who is known as the creator of Frito-Lay’s successful snack brand, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Montanez, who was a keynote speaker during the SCLC’s annual conference in 2017, shared his journey of climbing the corporate ladder in PepsiCo from a janitor to an executive vice president after he introduced Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to the company.
His rags to riches story has been chronicled in numerous media reports and in his recently published memoir. His life’s story will also be featured in an upcoming film by Christian Producer Devon Franklin and Hispanic American actress and director Eva Longoria. Shooting for the film is scheduled to begin this summer.
Dr. Steele said SCLC officials will seek an immediate meeting with Ramon L. Laguarta, the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, to help mediate an agreement between both sides and to protect Mr. Montanez’s legacy. The outreach by the SCLC is part of a national campaign the organization launched last fall called “From the Streets to the Suites,” targeting corporations that have been accused of discriminating against employees of color or maintaining environments that are hostile or unjust. The first protest was waged against the Nielsen Co., the global data and measurement company, which was sued by a senior Black executive for discrimination. That lawsuit was settled in March.
Dr. Steele said the timing of PepsiCo’s claims is suspect.
“PepsiCo is one of the leading companies in the world,” Dr. Steele said. “It hires the top PR and Marketing executives who are supported by the largest public relations, marketing and advertising agencies in the world. They review media reports daily. How can this story be in the public domain for years without being detected by the top executives in the world hired to protect their brand? Pepsi would not have elevated a Brown or Black man, with no high school diploma, unless he had contributed in a significant way. PepsiCo cannot disrespect a man like Richard Montanez without some fallout or repercussion.”
Dr. Steele added, “Our organization and our communities will not stand for this. We will not sit idly by and watch a valuable member of our community, who has contributed significantly, as confirmed by PepsiCo, be disrespected without evidence showing who presented the concept to the company. This idea originated in the brain of one person. This was not the creation of a team. Until proven otherwise, we will stick with Montanez’s claim. I just hope this is not systemic racism continuing in another corporation by PepsiCo refusing to grant what is due to a man who has served them well.”
ABOUT THE SCLC
Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests have become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.
Top WNBA, NCAA Coaches & Players Call On NCAA To Take Urgent Action Against Anti-Transgender Legislation
Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve and Forward Napheesa Collier Join HRC, Athlete Ally, Gender Justice, and NCAA Athletes to Urge NCAA to Make Good On its Commitment to Host Championship Games in Locations ‘Free of Discrimination’
Some of the nation’s top NCAA and WNBA coaches and players joined a growing chorus of athlete voices across the country today speaking out against the slate of discriminatory, anti-transgender bills in state legislatures across the country—aimed at banning transgender youth from participating in sports—calling on the NCAA to take urgent action in response to the legislation being taken up in more than 30 states. The calls for action—made during a press call today—come in the wake of last week’s comments by NCAA President Mark A. Emmert who said the discriminatory legislation conflicts “with NCAA’s core values” and that the NCAA is committed to hosting championship games in locations “free of discrimination.” Today’s remarks—in opposition to the discriminatory legislation and calling on the NCAA to take action—came from:
Cheryl Reeve, GM and Head Coach, Minnesota Lynx:
“The notion that the motivation of transgender athletes is to gain scholarships or a competitive advantage is simply a false narrative. This diminishes the athlete overall. Simply put, trans inclusion makes our sports, our teams, and our communities stronger.”
“Transgender inclusion is so crucial for the health, safety and wellbeing of transgender kids …. The NCAA has to take action and withdraw all athletic competition from states considering harmful and anti-transgender sports bills.”
CeCé Telfer, former NCAA champion and transgender athlete:
“As a trans athlete, first of all, I am not a threat to women’s sports because I am a woman. The joy and beauty of finally embracing myself and being in a sport that I love and being on that line with the women I’m supposed to be with, it’s enlightening.”
Alana Bojar, NCAA and cisgender athlete:
“Trans women don’t threaten women and girls sports. They’re my teammates who want to play for the exact same reasons I do: to have fun, to improve ourselves, to make friends, and be physically fit.”
Zooey Zephyr, former high school transgender athlete in Montana:
“I can with the utmost certainty say that I am the woman I am today thanks to the sports I played in my youth and the sports I continue to play in adulthood. Trans girls are girls. Trans boys are boys. They deserve opportunities to become better athletes and better people.”
Aliya Schenck, NCAA and cisgender athlete:
“Sports teach really important life lessons. They teach teamwork. They teach leadership. They teach self-discipline and self control in stressful environments. And these are all lessons that trans kids would be robbed if these bills and these legislations get passed. Trans girls are girls. Trans kids are kids. They’re not a threat to women’s sports, and we’re proud to call them our teammates.”
Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign:
“This is a moment of national crisis where the rights and the very existence of transgender young people are under attack. These [anti-trans sports] bills are nothing more than a coordinated effort from anti-LGBTQ extremists spreading fear and misinformation about transgender people in order to score cheap political points. At this time, though, we are asking the NCAA to do more and to use the power of their visibility to affirm and support transgender and nonbinary athletes across the nation.”
Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs, Athlete Ally:
“Every day the leadership of the NCAA stays silent, these hateful bills gain momentum. The time has passed for simply monitoring the situation. If you say nothing, even though you have clear policies and practices that support inclusion of trans student athletes, you are implicitly supporting these bills. I want each and every young person in this country to be able to live without fear and be able to play sports as who they truly are.”
Erin Maye Quade, Advocacy Director, Gender Justice:
“Transgender students participate in sports for the same reasons as anyone else: for the physical and mental health benefits, the invaluable lessons of teamwork and self discipline, the lifelong friendships, and, honestly, just to have fun. Like kids everywhere, transgender kids thrive when they are treated with dignity and respect. Being a kid is hard enough. We don’t need politicians making it even harder for kids who are transgender and singling them out for increased bullying and harassment. We need champions for all kids–individuals and institutions, including the NCAA.”
Growing Chorus of Professional and Student Athletes Across the Country Speaking Out Against Anti-Transgender Bills
Today’s calls for the NCAA to take action come amidst a growing chorus of athletes and other prominent sports figures across the country speaking out against the discriminatory measures.
Recently, 500 NCAA student athletes called on the Board of Governors to continue upholding its “NCAA Anti-Discrimination Policy and only operate championships and events in states that promote an inclusive atmosphere.” This week, Minnesota Lynx GM and coach Cheryl Reeve wrote: “Transgender exclusion pits woman athletes against one another, reinforces the harmful notion that there is only one right way to be a woman and distracts us from the real threats to women’s sports.”
In 2016, the NCAA Board of Governors instructed the association to relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina after the vote of HB 2, legislation that eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and forced transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity. The NCAA has continuously stated a firm position that if participating states do not meet the association’s “expectations of a discrimination-free environment,” they will “not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.”
A recording of today’s media briefing call, and full remarks of all speakers, can be found here. NCAA President Mark A. Emmert’s remarks last week on the NCAA’s commitment to ensuring hosting championship games in locations “free of discrimination” can be found here.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Anti-Trans Bills Moving in State Legislatures Across the Country, Explained
Many state legislatures across the country have embraced a discriminatory agenda as hundreds of bills that would weaken protections and rights for LGBTQ people—more than 100 of which vilify and marginalize transgender people, particularly trans youth—are moving through statehouses at an alarming rate. Despite widespread, overwhelming public opposition to the bills, a closer look reveals this onslaught of discriminatory legislation is being driven by a group of well-funded, national anti-LGBTQ organizations—including the Heritage Foundation, the Eagle Forum, and Alliance Defending Freedom, which is designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
These national organizations have launched a full-throated strategy to chip away and weaken LGBTQ rights and protections by fomenting clashes in the states—using state legislatures to spread misinformation about LGBTQ (particularly transgender) people, and fabricate a groundswell of seemingly anti-LGBTQ sentiment.
Using state legislatures as the strategic vehicles to embrace and pass a flurry of anti-LGBTQ legislation, the strategy is gaining ground — as discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ copycat bills are being pushed through state legislatures at an alarming rate.
This strategy, in many cases, seeks to vilify trans youth to undermine broader LGBTQ progress, and to reignite culture wars that most of the country has moved beyond.
Anti-LGBTQ Bills Seek to Vilify Trans Youth
So far, there are more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 106 directly target transgender people and 56 of those would ban transgender girls and sometimes women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. The legislation moving in these states seek to vilify and marginalize transgender youth by denying them the fundamental opportunities to participate in youth sports activities and — more egregiously — deny them health care:
Denying health care for trans kids:The anti-transgender effort to target transgender youth by denying them medically necessary services and gender-affirming care have sprung up in 20 states. These bills are opposed by organizations dedicated to children’s health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Association of Social Workers, and more. Some of these bills moving through state legislatures include:
The Alabama House of Representatives passed SB 10, which would make it a felony for medical providers to provide age-appropriate, best practice, medically-necessary care.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of HB 1570 was overridden by the legislature.
The Tennessee state legislature is considering HB 578 (SB 657), which would classify providing gender-affirming care as child endangerment, triggering criminal, civil, and professional penalties.
Denying organized sports opportunities for trans youth: We’re seeing many extremely similar bills in states across the country that would ban transgender girls and sometimes women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level. These bills have been introduced in 30 states. We’ve already seen some of these bills signed into law, including:
Legislators across the country have failed to provide examples of issues in their states to justify these bills, laying bare the reality that these are attacks on transgender youth are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact. State athletic associations, as well as collegiate and professional sports organizations, have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident, and there is no reason states need a ban on transgender participation in sports.
Top Businesses, Athletes, Advocates Oppose Anti-Trans Hysteria
These discriminatory bills—driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local stakeholders or public concern—will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people, particularly transgender youth. Legislators pushing these bills forward are also ignoring the views of leading corporations, health and welfare organizations, and the majority of voters, all of whom oppose anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation.
Earlier this month, nearly 70 major U.S. corporations stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.
The nation’s biggest advocates for women and girls spoke out in support of full and equal inclusion of transgender women and girls in sports, including the National Women’s Law Center, American Association of University Women, and the Women’s Sports Foundation, among many others.
Nearly 550 college athletes have stood up to anti-transgender legislation by demanding the NCAA pull championships from states with anti-trans sports legislation. At the height of March Madness, NCAA President Mark A. Emmert also spoke out against the slate of discriminatory, anti-transgender bills in state legislatures across the country and committed to hosting championship games in locations that provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination.
The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.
Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters.
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