Music

The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

This is the Nikki Minaj I understand. This the flavor that coated glass covered hills African Diasporan immigrants climbed in the past, present, and future if needed.

“She pointed my way, her extended arm all I could see other than the diamonds glinting in her ears. This wasn’t over yet. ‘‘That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you?’’ she asked. ‘‘Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?’’ she continued. ‘‘To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.’’ She called me ‘‘rude’’ and ‘‘a troublemaker,’’ said ‘‘Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way’’ and, at last, declared, ‘‘I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’”

Source: The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

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Cheryl Barnes, Largest Voice the World Forgot | Habari Gani, America!

The first time I heard Cheryl Barnes sing was at a Brooklyn theater where a group of friends and I went to see a 1979 highly advertised film, “Hair.” The music and choreography were amazing. It was filmed in New York, which made it ever so homey while full of energy. The leading cast was young and multicultural.

Image result for cheryl barnes

Leading with the cast, Cheryl Barnes ushers in the excitement that is Hair. Later on in the film a Black woman, played by Barnes, child in tow appeared giving context to the character LaFayette “Hud” Johnson, played by Dorsey Wright. She was the nameless fiance and represented all of the women and children left behind as our men took on the world. This representation may have been missed except for the voice that suddenly sparked, “Hooow Can People Be So Heartless…” The theater was torn. We were all captured and wanted more.

In the hunt for what became of Cheryl Barnes, I found that many bought the soundtrack to “Hair” just to get another moment of “Easy To Be Hard.” Over the years as I transferred the album to cassette and later bought a digital version, I often wondered why Barnes with such a strong voice disappeared from the stage considering her great talent.

This short bio was provided by IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0055540/board/thread/59895317):

“Cheryl Barnes – Raised in New Jersey, Cheryl has sang with groups such as the Classics Five and Ten Wheel Drive. She was also a back up singer for Genya Raven. Cheryl performed in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” and on Broadway in last Sweet Days of Isaac, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. She portrayed Deena, the handmaiden in Doug Henning’s “The Magic Show”.

You can experience the depth and breath of Barnes’s voice in her performance of “Solid Silver Platform Shoes” in “The Magic Show.”

Cheryl Barnes also had a single out, “Save and Spend” in 1977 during the Disco era.

There are various stories traversing the internet as to the history of Barnes, but one holds true. Barnes was also the original Effie in the stage production of  “Dreamgirls” on Broadway previous to Jennifer Holliday.

In 1987, Cheryl Barnes reappeared as a contestant on “Star Search,” hosted by Ed McMahon, winning $100,00 in the Female Competition.

Cheryl Barnes has many fans researching her past and present location. There are many conspiracy theories lurking about on the internet. This may be part of her charm along with an outstanding voice. We may have more to add to this posting, but we can only hope.

Lyrics to “Easy To Be Hard”

How can people be so heartless?
How can people be so cruel?
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
How can people have no feelings?
How can they ignore their friends?
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend
How can people be so heartless
You know I’m hung up on you
Easy to give in
Easy to help out
And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend
How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Beyoncé Explains the Inspiration for Her ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ Performance

A tribute to Selma.


In a new short video, Beyoncé explained the song’s significance in her life as well as the motivation behind the powerful performance.  Beyoncé, like many of us, grew up listening to it. “I felt like this was an opportunity to show the vulnerability and the strength of Black men,” she said.

via Beyoncé Explains the Inspiration for Her ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ Performance.

Miles Davis | Ray Winbush

 Ray Winbush: In 1987 the jazz trumpeter and group leader Miles Davis attended a White House reception in honor of Ray Charles with his wife at the time, the actress Cicely Tyson. When a white woman asked him what he had done to be invited, he answered: ''Well, I've changed music four or five times. . . . What have you done of any importance other than be white?''

In 1987 the jazz trumpeter and group leader Miles Davis attended a White House reception in honor of Ray Charles with his wife at the time, the actress Cicely Tyson. When a white woman asked him what he had done to be invited, he answered: ”Well, I’ve changed music four or five times. . . . What have you done of any importance other than be white?”

Dear, Al Sharpton – YouTube| Urban Cusp | Oogee Woogee

Published on Dec 31, 2014

Oogee Woogee’s message to the Civil Rights Leader, Al Sharpton. ( Additional footage found from Al Jazeera, MSNBC, BET, Rolling Stone ) Music by DMX – Change Gonna Come ( Prod by Swizz Beatz ) ***NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED***

via Dear, Al Sharpton – YouTube.

3 lessons from hip-hop history every activist should know – YouTube | Jay Smooth

Published on Nov 18, 2014

This is our new bimonthly video series, The Illipsis, written, starring and produced by DJ, video essayist and cultural critic Jay Smooth.In this first episode, Jay deconstructs the history of hip-hop to illuminate how young activists can continue challenging and reshaping the status quo today.

via 3 lessons from hip-hop history every activist should know – YouTube.

Congratulations, Charlo Greene : ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization | #OYRchallenge

charlogreenepicEx-Anchorwoman Charlo Greene (Charlene Egbe) for KTVA celebrates her work with Alaska winning the fight to legalized marijuana for recreational use. Greene’s business, The Alaska Cannabis Club, served as the only clearinghouse connecting Alaskan medical marijuana card holders with legal suppliers. Legalizing recreational marijuana in her state not only boosts her business, but lowers the stats for those imprisoned for non-violent crimes in America.

Women of Power organizations, clubs, and seminars draw hundreds of women, yet no one celebrated Charlo Greene’s explosive  on the air exit from her KTVA Anchorwoman position except the media. Greene’s choosing her business over profitable employment should empower many women — and men to consider free enterprise. The November 5, 2014 Huffington Post article goes more into detail about what this means to Alaskan politics. Enjoy and a hearty Congratulations, Charlo Greene. #OYRchallenge

Charlo Green quits, September 22, 2014 video:

“Honestly I don’t even know what to say right now aside from the fact that we just made history,” Greene said in a video posted to her Facebook page early Wednesday morning. “It’s a fact. We just made history for doing a good thing. Congratulations.

via ‘F**k It, I Quit’ Reporter Celebrates Alaska Marijuana Legalization.