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 gays), which is why the “establishment” sought to reorder any progress that resulted in higher consciousness and freedom of expression.

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Jennifer Hudson Where Is Your Moment In Time Song?

This is an open letter to Jennifer Hudson’s management, record label, press and a plea to the singer herself.

It is time for you to have a massive commercial hit!

Jennifer Hudson has been flying below the radar, above the radar and beside the radar for a few years now. I’ve watched her career and growth as a person with increasing interest. I also think JHud – as she’s affectionately known — has led a Job-like life full of career highs [Oscar] and personal lows [the murder of her family]. We all know she can sing rings around practically anyone and have been rooting for her like the ‘underdog’ she is.

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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 and who’s fighting for what, but when the dust settles we may be regretting our collective lack of participation. The RIAA is the lobby group for the record labels and distributors. You know, the majority of white men with all the money. They’re the ones suing 12 year olds for downloading music files. They also claim to be working in the interests of musicians, but in my opinion the fox doesn’t look out for the best interests of the hen house.

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