I’ve attended at least half of the conferences dating back to, well, never mind when I started going.
There’s a mash-up of workshops and braintrust meetings from the “Art of Social Entrepreneurship” to “Working Families Fight Back.” To be sure, some folks will be moaning and groaning about the lack of follow-up. It somehow escapes them that the follow-through starts with the person in the mirror.
A. Shuanise Washington, the president and CEO of the CBCF, said in a statement:
Any discussion about African-American history and culture must include African-American artists. Through the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, the CBCF and the CBC Spouses pay homage to those whose creative bodies of work convey the rich and diverse African-American experience.
About Bill Withers:
Bill Withers is a legendary singer-songwriter with a music career that spans more than four decades. Between the 1970s and 1980s, he won “Song of the Year” Grammys for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just the Two of Us” and “Lean on Me.” His songs have been covered by numerous artists across various genres of music, including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Michael Bolton, John Legend and Jill Scott. In 2005, Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
I can’t pick a favorite Bill Withers’ song because there’s one for whatever mood I’m in. That said, some of my favorite lyrics are from “Moaning and Groaning”: “If she ain’t the best in the world, she’s good as the goodest one.”
I first wrote about illegal immigration in 2005. I’m passionate about a lot of issues but nothing makes my blood boil more than calls for amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants who either sneaked across the border or overstayed their visa.
I’m a policy wonk so I can cite report after report about the high cost of illegal immigration. But I don’t have to go there. For me, it’s real simple: What part of illegal don’t you understand?
Like a lot of Americans, I’m paying a lot of attention to the mess in Texas. If President Obama had listened, he would have known that Americans want to send the so-called “border children” back to Central America. They’re still here so now Obama is paying a high cost.
Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama’s worst issue -- definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency -- when it comes to public perception.
A new poll from AP-GfK shows more than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) disapprove of Obama’s handling of the immigration issue in general. Just 31 percent approve -- down from 38 percent two months ago.
Count me among those Americans who want to #SendThemBack. It may sound “mean-spirited” but my give a damn gave out 11 million illegal immigrants ago.
While I love jazz, I live for the blues. I don’t remember a time in my life when the blues didn’t touch me to my core.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Jimmy McGriff’s Hammond B-3 organ fueled my imagination. So it was awesome to discover McGriff perfected his craft in organ joints in West Philly.
The blues is the prism through which I view the world. The musical genre shaped my self-image and my expectations about male-female relationships. It captured my joy. When that joy turned to pain, “I cried like a baby.” But guess what? “Everything is really all right.”
The blues is more than a feeling. It’s a state of mind. Since we were “brought over on a ship,” blues has been our sanctuary.
This is music with humble beginnings, roots in slavery and segregation, a society that rarely treated black Americans with the dignity and respect that they deserved. The blues bore witness to these hard times. And like so many of the men and women who sang them, the blues refused to be limited by the circumstances of their birth.
The music migrated north—from Mississippi Delta to Memphis to my hometown in Chicago. It helped lay the foundation for rock and roll and R&B and hip-hop. It inspired artists and audiences around the world. And as tonight’s performers will demonstrate, the blues continue to draw a crowd. Because this music speaks to something universal. No one goes through life without both joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. The blues gets all of that, sometimes with just one lyric or one note.
Blacks learned how to sing the blues rather than just giving up on life. A guy’s wife walks out on him with his best friend. And he’s crushed. So what does he say? Instead of going out and taking a gun and killing he sings a song “I’m going down to the railroad to lay my poor head on the track. I’m going down to the railroad to lay my poor head on the track. And when the locomotive comes I’m gonna pull my fool head back.
I’m not giving up life over this. That life goes on beyond this. Pain is just for a moment. This whole notion about what we’re going through is only a season. And this came to pass, didn’t come to stay. That’s what the blues do. And that’s what the music tradition does.
When black folks were connected to the blues, we had a plan and we worked that plan. The plan took us from the slave master’s house to claiming victory at the White House, where President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The blues is how we got over. This is turn begs the question: What’s not to love?