(A letter to the first lady)
It is so obvious your speech was stolen Mrs. Obama, but about the best thing I can say is, they did the same thing to our music. Everyone is trying to perform R&B and Rock & Roll music, which we all but single handedly, created. Yet, today we’ve practically been kicked aside from the economic aspects of our unique art form as well as our culture.
My point is; this is an important chapter in American history, which we’ve all but been denied participation. So we wander around in this country, not knowing what we’re up against, nor realizing the potential of our fate?
In fact, most of us do not know that we, as a people, in the very near future, could possibly be considered expendable due mostly to the fact that we were brought here specifically to pick and to cultivate cotton! So, as far as some of our captures are concerned, we have presently outlived our usefulness.
I know, those of you who live in Los Angeles are more than likely thinking “Hollywood like you should,” meaning some of us are blinded by the make believe facade of Hollywood, so you’re probably thinking what I am saying is ludicrous.
Meanwhile, our children (and in too many cases, we ourselves) do not have a clue as to what we’re up against? Why for instance, are our neighborhoods inundated with liquor stores, crack houses, and a church on every corner, pistols, and all sorts of ways for us to self-destruct? Now I know nobody wants to hear this, but the fact is that as far as some white people are concerned, we are no longer needed. And thanks to the gun lobbyist, the gun shows, the NRA and of course the movies and shows coming out of Hollywood, our children barely stand a chance of survival.
What I mean about the movies is if you’ve noticed, the villain is always black. At least he is ninety nine percent of the time, stone cold black! Whether he comes from beneath the sea or from the far reaches of out of space, he is more than likely black!
So do not think these vicious black images don’t affect us as a people, because that is exactly what they are designed to do. It’s the equivalent to the Nazi’s defamation campaigns against the Jews during and before World War ll.
The Jewish people however, at the least, formed a line of defense but I’m afraid we African Americans though, just may end up getting blindsided. So all I can say in the meantime is, watch out for Trump!
History does actually repeat itself and don’t you forget it. There’s an old saying, which states; “those who do not know their history, are doomed to failure.” I can almost guarantee most African Americans knows less about their history than any other race on the planet. The reason is, our history is so dismal, so we hate to face it head on. But unless you wish to be doomed to failure, you must stop and examine your history.
This is why I wrote “UP From Where We’ve Come” a testament to our most recent history. Something that we must deal with, if we wish to continue moving forward. This book is the missing link between modern day living and slavery. And according to critics; “UP From Where We’ve Come” is a subject that’s long since been overlooked by the general society, and is something that absolutely must be addressed before we can leap into the future. In other words; you must know your history in order to obtain a future existence. Anyone who wants to deny you access to your history should therefore, be considered to be your staunchest enemy.
Soul musicians really blossomed from the late 50’s to the 80’s.
A few of my favorites
What should my 10th musician be? Leave them in the comments.
My latest music video shot at H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills featuring Charles Malik Whitfied (Otis from The Temptations) and Farrah Franklin (From the original Destiny’s Child)
Rehearsal before show time
We had so much fun on sight.
Bullet, Farrah Fawcett, Charles Wright, Ejyptian Queens
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Charles Wright with Mayor Bob Foster. Photo by Sarah Bennett
It’s one of the most highly sampled songs of all time, used to sell everything from Nike shoes to high-end clothing. You might recognize the familiar funky beat from the NWA song of the same name or, most recently, a Chevrolet commercial aired during the Super Bowl.
Since Charles Wright wrote “Express Yourself” in 1970, and his 103rd St. Watts Rhythm Band made it originally famous, the song has been used in more than 30 movies and countless commercials.
Starting this month, however, it will become the theme for the Long Beach City Clerk’s Office voter-awareness campaign— its first governmental use yet.
“I think people who are on every side of the business are smart enough to know that people really need to express themselves,” Wright told the Post. “I think we all have an innate need to express ourselves even though some of us never do, really.”
Though Wright is not from Long Beach—he was born in Mississippi and has lived all over L.A.—he agreed to donate use of the song to the City because voting is an issue he takes very seriously. He said he would have done it for any city who wanted to use “Express Yourself” as a way to make sure people come out and vote.
“Forty years ago, my people won the fight to vote. And now it’s all Americans’ right, and I think we should take advantage of it,” Wright said. “I think of all the pain and suffering people went through so that I could vote. My mother and father couldn’t vote, so I should because I can. ”
Based on a plan conceived by City Clerk Larry Herrera, the entire “LB Vote 2014” campaign centers around “Express Yourself.” In addition to having the phrase emblazoned on 150 street banners, bus shelter posters and even bilingual signage (“Exprésese”), the song will also be used in public service announcements, online videos, social media postings and online advertising as part of a comprehensive voter awareness campaign for the City’s primary election on April 8.
“Often local government gets pushed aside in the face of national elections, but what happens locally affects you more in the day-to-day,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “You can’t complain about government if you don’t vote, so it’s important to educate yourself and participate.”
The “Express Yourself LB Vote 2014” campaign will also include a soon-to-be-released mobile app that will help users find their polling place, sign up for vote my mail and, on election night, watch live results for the more than 46 contests that will be voted on citywide.
For more information about how and where to vote in Long Beach, visit the City Clerk homepage at longbeach.gov/cityclerk/elections