Revisiting The Music Series: Deploying A Little Negro Spirit

It’s always nice when people mention your online work fondly. I recently saw  a comment where someone mentioned my music criticism series from 2009, Deploying A Little Negro Spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the cultural assessment and contributions of  blacks in music. I’ve also pointed out how empowering the disco era was for women (and …

Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: The Responsibility of the (Sometimes) Buying Public

So this was supposed to be the end of my series of cultural abandonment and appropriation but I think it bears continuing even as I expand the way it has been framed thus far. I’ve had some very good conversations in real life and online from a variety of people (notably a majority of Black …

Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: When Black Female Artists of Substance Are Ignored

This is the fourth conversation in a series where I discuss race, culture, appropriation and the abdication of African-American touchstones due to devaluation of our unique perspective and shame. Right now as I write this there’s a fight going on between the RIAA, radio broadcasters and the public. Only we don’t realize what’s at stake …

Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: When Black Artists Flip the Script

In the third installment of of my series exploring music and cultural appropriation – and abandonment – we will focus on Black artists who aren’t necessarily doing what some consider “Black” music. That assessment in and of itself is problematic because of the ramifications of an audience that has acquiesced its legacy to others. The …

Deploying A Little Negro Spirit: When White Artists Go Black

I’m continuing the conversation from last week where I evaluated the use of Black gospel choirs to elevate the songs of non-Black artists. I haven’t decided whether it’s an all-out appropriation, some appreciation or callous apathy on their part but I suspect it’s a tradition that will continue. It will continue because some of us …

International Sisters of Soul, Jazz, Pop and R&B Spotlight: Kornelia Mango

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This is a guest post by Lorraine Spencer. Many of you who read the BW-IRR forums know Lorraine for providing a lot of back end research to forum hosts. She is a great resource for many women who seek to elevate themselves. The married, mother of two arranged the Aftenposten interview some of us participated …

Who’s Getting It Right #2: Janet Jackson Chooses Wisely

Picking up from my post about women deploying common sense where men are concerned, let me also state emphatically that any woman who wants a man who’s considered good-looking across the spectrum of society should be able to have that. Relationships are not guaranteed. While it may be true it would be foolish to not …

For Those Women Wondering How They’ll Divest & Where They’ll Go

It’s nice to see the media attention being given to Dr. Roxanne Shante this week. To bring you up to speed she was one of the earliest female MCs in hip-hop. She recorded Roxanne’s Revenge which was a reply to UTFO’s song Roxanne Roxanne. For a more recent comparison think of TLC’s recording of No …