Aretha, Aretha ...I have written abt the Queen several times...because she is a musical BEAST! Aretha literally changed the style of mainstream singing. One of Aretha's inspirations and heroes was Mahalia Jackson and she clearly influenced her but vocally, Aretha is the MOST influential singer in the pop era period! It’s is pre and post Aretha! There is no male or female artist is before her.She is known for her vocal gymnastics hitting all then notes and she is the reason that every person tries to wail at the end of song! Some have claimed, she did not read music which is false and just crazy. Her father was a musician, she lived in an middle class life in Detroit at the height of it's musical influence, and one of her closet friends was Smokey Robinson. She attended Julliard,is a classically trained pianist and was familiar with gospel and opera. Her voice was versatile and she could sing anything, there was no limit to her musicianship. At 1998 Grammy telecast, she stepped in for Pavarotti who had fallen ill. The show director ran to Aretha's dressing room to ask if she could fill in, she listened to a recording of his rehearsal & sang the aria Nessun Dorma in HIS key w/ NO REHEARSAL!!! The audience was astounded and she received a standing ovation and incredible reviews the next day. She was the Queen of remake, as an artist she didn’t imitate she reinvented..when she remade “Until you come back to me” Stevie Wonder basically said” ..well, that’s done “. When asked about the song Natural Woman Carole King said “it belongs to the Queen". She charted for 6 decades, from the 1960' through the mid 2000's and she is the highest selling female artist. She was an apologetically black woman, she supported the civil rights & black power movement. When Angela Davis was arrested, she offered money for her release saying ' my money is made from black people...it's only right it is used to support them". She paid a high price for her community, as an outspoken , ambitious female artist. I hope that artists and especially female artist understand this trailblazer. All Hail the Queen!#arethafranklin #artist #legend #trailblazer #womensvoices
Oh ...Ms. Diahann ...Ms. Diahann...what a life..one groundbreaking moment after another, refusing stereotypical roles, she was the first black person to win a Tony in a leading role for Richard Rogers only solo effort No Strings Attached. Julia was a defining moment for television featuring a black female lead not in a role of servitude. Julia was a widowed registered nurse, with a young son but her television created world featured few other black characters except for the occasional guest star. In an interview, in reference to images at that time in the 60’s she was quoted as saying “ at this moment, we’re presenting the white Negro.. and he has very little Negro-ness.” Her role on Dynasty made her the first black “b*tch on network TV with the legendary line " this champagne is burnt".
Born in the boogie down BX in a supportive home, her career began in the 50’s with Carmen Jones and thrived through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s with Sisters, Different World, Five Heartbeats, Eve’s Bayou, Grey’s Anatomy, & White Collar among many others .
As the first, she carried quite the burden of always being perfect. She was an searing example of grace and elegance; she symbolized our transition from mammy to Madame. In the midst of her beauty she was a committed and dedicated actress as seen in her phenomenal performance in Claudine. As so many other ambitious black women, she wasn't always supported by the men in her life, (which included 4 marriages & a volatile affair with Sidney Poitier). Fortunately, unlike many other talented powerhouses ( Holiday, Washington, Houston, Dandridge, etc) she did not fall victim to that betrayal and continued to beam her light with conviction.
Growing up she was one of my "sheroes “, the epitome of femininity , she let me know as a black girl I can be any kinda woman I wanted to be. No matter the struggles, inequalities or sexism, Ms. Carroll shone. She was and is our Black Diamond❤️ Thank You Ms. Carroll #diva #dynasty #whitecollar #legacy #legend #blackgirlmagic
The one and only...Toni Morrison. It's well established that few understood or was in her artistic realm of the power of prose. I remember when I first read Beloved it actually took 4 attempts before I was in, but once I was in...I was alllll the way in. Her stories transported you in time and there was a starkness yet at the same poetry to the pain that vibrated off those pages. The Bluest Eye was a beautiful way to share the ugliest of realities that continue to be a part of the black American experience. She spoke of the frailties of love, religion, friendships, anger and the ego. Beloved opened my eyes to slavery in a way that was so simple yet horrifying. The choice that mother makes is not without love and strips the fantasies that permeate some of the stories of slavery. A kinder slave owner was still a slave owner. It brought humanity to the people by just declaring, of course that kind of insidious terror would drive anyone insane. There is a gift and a curse to having a G*d given talent, to be able to touch people with your words and at the same time humble them with the intricacies of your construct. Toni Morrison was a goddess of the most everyday black girl. She loved pretty things, parties, gifts and being a mother. Yet at the same time she had a talent that allowed her to travel the world where her ideas encouraged a generation of minds that cut across language and race. She was all of these things and when you are given such complexity in one being it can be intimidating and at times probably a little isolating. One of my favorite images of her was when a friend shared she came out of her limo, with a baked ham in foil to Toni Cade Bambara's wake. She was AKA, she was groomed in blk excellence and as an editor at DoubleDay she supported the words of black excellence. She used her power and talent to nurture the voices of other black women and used her word to tell the stories of black people with honor, grace and empathy. She grounded herself in the lives of negrodian people and made it a masterpiece of storytelling. As Ntozoke Shange wrote in colored girls "..she loved us fiercely.." and we loved you right back my Sista. Before she was finally awarded her Nobel Prize, 48 black writers…again writers... wrote a petition, asking why Toni Morrison had not received a Pulitzer. Ms. Morrison is part of the canon of American literature, she is among some of the greats Faulkner, Hemingway, Poe, Salinger and Morrison but even more importantly, she is our fabulous, sensual, talented Black Sista! Enjoy the next leg of your journey Ms. Morrison!
#tarbaby #tonimorrison #beloved #blackgirlmagic #blackgirlsrock #jazz #blackexcellence #talent #blackjoy #blackwriters #blackwomenvoices #womenvoices
An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.