A FEW BLACK MUSIC MILESTONES!
February 25, 2010
I was talking to my Spectropop pal Marva Holliday, an alumnus of Motown about my doing an article celebrating Black History Month, but from a different angle. She agrees with me that this past year has been amazing in terms of race relations in America. The media has so embraced the idea of our having an African American leader; they’ve given more face time not only to Blacks but all minorities!
Back in the ‘50s when I was a kid whenever a “colored” person appeared on television it was considered an event. When Nat “King” Cole got his own fifteen minute network TV show on NBC, every person of color had a new sense of pride and hope. Unfortunately that hope was dashed when the show was canceled for lack of full sponsorship. It hurt even more to find out that sponsors didn’t want a “Negro” to be a spokesman for their product, which might offend their “White” customers.
In the ‘60s when our country was protesting against just about everything, a new voice of social consciousness emerged in Black music. At first recording artists would sneak “messages” into their music because record companies didn’t want any part of anything that might lose customers…but then the floodgates of long repressed expression opened.
Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
photos at top by Sam Emerson
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