MLK Park bust to be rededicated Saturday at opening of new exhibit

A rededication ceremony will be held Saturday for the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial located in the Olmsted Park that bears his name.

There will be an MLK program at 2 p.m. in Calvary Baptist Church, 1184 Genesee St., followed by the rededication at the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza in the park and the opening of the new exhibit “Making of a Monument” in the park’s shelter house.

The bronze sculpture was unveiled in October 1983 and has become one of Buffalo’s most eye-catching and controversial public sculptures. It rests on a crescent-shaped concrete and stone plaza surrounded by grass landscaping, evergreens and wooden benches. Excerpts from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech were cut into the stone.

Critics complain that it is not an exact likeness, while those who commissioned it say it was never meant to be. African American artist John Wilson, who was 92 when he died in 2015, created the $300,000 artwork. He also created a bust of King that stands in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.

Saturday’s events are open to the public.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

5 ‘There’s a problem with sexism in country music’: Why Samantha Bee’s late-night show went to ‘investigate’ Nashville

“As you can imagine, we’re sensitive to anyone who feels that they can’t break through to a boys’ club,” said Kim Burdges, who produced the segment. Bee, who spent a decade on “The Daily Show” before landing her own late-night series, came to Burdges with the idea for the segment several months ago after she read some articles on the topic. “So we decided to go to Nashville and investigate more.”

Zamata and Hoggart traveled to Music City during the week of the Country Music Association Awards in November. Although some singers are reluctant to put their careers at risk by speaking out, when the show reached out for interviews, nearly 100 percent of respondents said yes.

“Most people, because they knew we were going to do a comedic take on this, were excited about that, especially since our audience might not be a typical country crowd,” said director Todd Bieber, who added that, although popular male artists agreed to talk, the show ultimately decided to keep the focus on women.

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The segment kicked off by pointing out all the amazing achievements for women in the genre lately, including female country artists nominated for Grammys and all-women hosts at the CMA Awards.

“So crank up that country radio for some lady-powered action,” Zamata and Hoggart said wryly in a voiceover, before showing shots of singers from Luke Bryan to Luke Combs singing their biggest hits. “Okay, it’s just a bunch of dude bros.”

“We’re on the neon-soaked streets of Nashville, because there’s a problem with sexism in country music,” Zamata said, later adding, “We can’t have another generation of fans limited by the tastes and opinions of old white men.” Hoggart noted, “They already have the Oscars and sports and banks and medicine and Hollywood. And most of the presidential candidates.”

The segment also brought up “tomato-gate,” the infamous incident in 2015 when a consultant suggested radio stations should play fewer songs by women for better ratings. (If country radio is a salad, he explained, “the lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”) The comments sparked a national outcry, although the numbers on radio haven’t improved, as men make up a majority of the airplay.

“What do you want your daughter to know about herself? If you can’t get that from country radio, if you can’t get that from country music, that’s a problem,” Brandi Carlile said during her interview, in which she jokingly blamed Kid Rock for all the issues women face in the genre.

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Zamata and Hoggart interviewed Margo Price, who said she was “blacklisted” by country labels because she sang too much about “real-life problems,” and Tanya Tucker, who spoke of the double standards she faced early in her career. While Carlile, Price and Tucker’s music isn’t the type that would be marketed to contemporary country radio (it would fall more into the “Americana” sphere), the correspondents also spoke to Mickey Guyton, who has been on a major Nashville label for years yet hasn’t had a radio hit.

Guyton also discussed the challenges of being one of the few black artists in the genre. “Black people love country music, and there’s so many people that look like me that love country music,” she said. “We’re really just paving our own way.”

In a conversation with Leslie Fram, CMT’s senior vice president of music strategy, Hoggart wondered aloud why country music was so concerned with radio. Isn’t it the age of streaming? (Where, incidentally, things aren’t great for women, either.) “I don’t mean to be patronizing, but why is radio still a big deal in country? Do you guys still use rotary phones?” Hoggart asked.

“Believe it or not, radio is still king,” Fram said. “So I feel like we’re training people not to hear female voices.”

Bieber, the director, said they included that question because it came up among the staff when they were planning the segment — many of them didn’t think about the fact that in rural areas, where country music is most popular, plenty of people still listen to radio in their cars. “Any time we can make a joke fall on us, like ‘Oh, it’s our ignorance,’ we try to work that in,” he said.

Given the importance of radio in the genre, Burdges said, it seemed especially critical to shine another spotlight on the issue: “If [female singers] aren’t on country radio and their voices aren’t being heard, then they’re really being suppressed.”

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

5 off-the-beaten-path getaway destinations that are particularly relevant in 2020

If you’re looking for travel ideas this year, why not pick a destination that holds particular significance in 2020?

It’s been exactly 100 years since the 1920s ushered in transformations in music, a Great Migration of Black families from the Southern United States and a generation lost in the post-World War I years. This year marks the centennial of the start of Prohibition and the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave many women in the U.S. the right to vote.

Here are five ideas for memorable, commemorative vacations you could take this year to celebrate significant historic anniversaries.

JANUARY

Have a drink, toast those bootleggers, stay close to home!

  • Commemorative date: Jan. 17, 1920
  • Event: 100th anniversary of Prohibition 

Suggested destination:

D’Arcy Island, British Columbia — Have a drink aboard the Seattle-to-Victoria ferry and visit nearby D’Arcy Island, where Seattle’s own “gentleman bootlegger” Roy Olmstead used to smuggle his goods to the city.

During Prohibition, famed Seattle bootlegger Roy Olmstead would pick up shipments of Canadian liquor on D’Arcy Island and smuggle them back to Washington. You can still wander picturesque D’Arcy Island today, a ferry away from Victoria, British Columbia. (Fritz Mueller / Parks Canada / Gulf Islands National Park Reserve)During Prohibition, famed Seattle bootlegger Roy Olmstead would pick up shipments of Canadian liquor on D’Arcy Island and smuggle them back to Washington. You can still wander picturesque D’Arcy Island today, a ferry away from Victoria, British Columbia. (Fritz Mueller / Parks Canada / Gulf Islands National Park Reserve)
During Prohibition, famed Seattle bootlegger Roy Olmstead would pick up shipments of Canadian liquor on D’Arcy Island and smuggle them back to Washington. You can still wander picturesque D’Arcy Island today, a ferry away from Victoria, British Columbia. (Fritz Mueller / Parks Canada / Gulf Islands National Park Reserve)

Why go there:

The U.S. went dry on Jan. 17, 1920, after the 18th Amendment instituted Prohibition, banning the import, purchase and sale of alcohol nationwide. Consequently, bootleggers and speak-easies sprang up to keep Americans buzzed. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Roy Olmstead was the man for the job.

Olmstead was a Seattle Police Department lieutenant when he was busted for illegally smuggling liquor into Washington at Meadowdale Beach in March 1920. SPD fired Olmstead, who promptly reinvented himself by becoming Seattle’s most successful bootlegger.

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The secret to Olmstead’s success was a secret route through the Haro Strait, where he picked up shipments of Canadian liquor on strategic D’Arcy Island. Surrounded by boat-wrecking reefs and home to a leper colony, D’Arcy Island wasn’t exactly drawing droves of visitors.

Seattle’s “gentleman bootlegger” Roy Olmstead is shown here in a photo dated Sep. 7, 1930. (The Seattle Times file)Seattle’s “gentleman bootlegger” Roy Olmstead is shown here in a photo dated Sep. 7, 1930. (The Seattle Times file)
Seattle’s “gentleman bootlegger” Roy Olmstead is shown here in a photo dated Sep. 7, 1930. (The Seattle Times file)

Today, D’Arcy Island is no longer a leper colony and it makes for a great weekend kayaking trip.

Prohibition lasted 13 years, and the era (which ended in 1933 with the ratification of the 21st Amendment) became known for the speak-easies and secret bars that popped up everywhere.

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by having a perfectly legal drink (or two!) aboard the Seattle-to-Victoria ferry, then top off your glass and hearken back to the days of speak-easies at the Victoria Event Centre’s Speakeasy Tuesdays. In Victoria, you’ll be a short boat ride away from the infamous D’Arcy Island that helped Olmstead keep Seattle tipsy during the dry years. Now a national park reserve, D’Arcy Island is a beautiful place to camp overnight and savor a glass of something boozy as you toast the bootleggers who, under cover of night, kept Seattle sipping.

Keep the drinks flowing back in Seattle at one of several speak-easy-themed bars, like the reservations-only Needle & Thread on Capitol Hill, which is accessed through a bank vault and where bartenders can make you a personalized cocktail tailored to your tastes.

APRIL

Celebrate the Roaring 20s in Minnesota, Alabama or New York

Author F. Scott Fitzgerald poses with his wife, Zelda, and his daughter Scottie in their apartment in Paris on July 16, 1925. (The Associated Press)Author F. Scott Fitzgerald poses with his wife, Zelda, and his daughter Scottie in their apartment in Paris on July 16, 1925. (The Associated Press)
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald poses with his wife, Zelda, and his daughter Scottie in their apartment in Paris on July 16, 1925. (The Associated Press)

Suggested destinations:

Depending on what about the 20s most appeals to you, pick one of these three places.

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St. Paul, Minnesota — Tour St. Paul, Minnesota, to see the places that F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald lived and wrote in together.

Montgomery, Alabama — Visit Zelda Fitzgerald’s hometown, where the famous couple fell in love, and stay in a house-turned-Fitzgerald Museum where the couple worked on their novels.

Harlem, New York City — Stay in the Harlem Flophouse and visit the legendary Apollo Theater to celebrate the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance in New York.

Why go there?

Whether you’re a fan of sparkling fashion, a lover of jazz or a Black history buff, 2020 is the perfect opportunity to revisit the art, culture and drama of the 1920s, the beginning of an era so tumultuous it earned monikers like the “Roaring ’20s” while its youth became known as “The Lost Generation.”

St. Paul, Minnesota

The Fitzgerald Theater, named after F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the oldest theater in Minnesota. (Courtesy Fitzgerald Theater)The Fitzgerald Theater, named after F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the oldest theater in Minnesota. (Courtesy Fitzgerald Theater)
The Fitzgerald Theater, named after F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the oldest theater in Minnesota. (Courtesy Fitzgerald Theater)

Looking for an excuse for a romantic getaway with your history-buff beau or belle? Head to the unlikely destination of St. Paul, Minnesota, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the most epic, if perhaps turbulent, marriages of the 1920s — the union of Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

During the day, see the sites in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s hometown and take advantage of the many tours and events in honor of the famous author. Cap off the night with a show at the eponymous Fitzgerald Theater — the city’s oldest theater.

Montgomery, Alabama

At the Fitzgerald Museum’s New Year’s Eve 2020 party, revelers rang in the new ’20s in 1920s fashion. The museum in Alabama makes a perfect 2020 pilgrimage destination. (Courtesy of the Fitzgerald Museum)At the Fitzgerald Museum’s New Year’s Eve 2020 party, revelers rang in the new ’20s in 1920s fashion. The museum in Alabama makes a perfect 2020 pilgrimage destination. (Courtesy of the Fitzgerald Museum)
At the Fitzgerald Museum’s New Year’s Eve 2020 party, revelers rang in the new ’20s in 1920s fashion. The museum in Alabama makes a perfect 2020 pilgrimage destination. (Courtesy of the Fitzgerald Museum)

If you’re a bigger fan of Zelda than F. Scott, Montgomery, Alabama beckons. Montgomery is Zelda’s hometown and the place where the couple fell in love. At the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, you can also spend the night in a room where the Fitzgeralds wrote parts of “Save Me the Waltz” and “Tender is the Night.” On April 3, the museum will host an open house in honor of the couple’s centennial anniversary. On April 25, the museum will host a gala to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel, “This Side of Paradise,” which earned Scott enough money to support his wife-to-be.

Harlem, New York City

The Harlem Flophouse is an old Victorian house that was converted to a hotel in the early 20th century to house Harlem’s growing population during the Great Migration. (Courtesy of Harlem Flophouse)The Harlem Flophouse is an old Victorian house that was converted to a hotel in the early 20th century to house Harlem’s growing population during the Great Migration. (Courtesy of Harlem Flophouse)
The Harlem Flophouse is an old Victorian house that was converted to a hotel in the early 20th century to house Harlem’s growing population during the Great Migration. (Courtesy of Harlem Flophouse)

If it’s jazz that draws you to the ’20s, head to Harlem for a look back at the city that inspired a new chapter in Black culture, arts and politics with the Harlem Renaissance.

At the Harlem Flophouse, you can sleep in authentic Harlem Renaissance style in the Thelonious Monk or Chester Himes rooms, complete with claw-foot bathtubs, antique brass and old radios (fair warning: only the Duke Ellington room has a private bath). The Flophouse is an old Victorian house that was converted to a hotel in the early 20th century to house Harlem’s growing population as more than a million African Americans made their way north during the Great Migration.

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Then, hit the Harlem streets to explore some of the theaters, clubs and restaurants that inspired a generation of Black artists, writers, musicians and changemakers. Music and entertainment lovers can visit the famous Apollo Theater and the Paris Blues Jazz Club. History fans can dive into the archives at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture or the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

At the Studio Museum of Harlem, you can see some of the ways the art of yesterday has influenced the art of today.

APRIL

Celebrate Earth Day in style

  • Commemorative date: April 22, 1970
  • Event: 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day

Suggested destination:

Glacier National Park — Hop on the train for a more carbon-friendly way to visit the national parks through Amtrak’s national parks program.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day outdoors, perhaps at a place like Glacier National Park in Montanta, which houses Grinnell Glacier. (Beth J. Harpaz / The Associated Press) Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day outdoors, perhaps at a place like Glacier National Park in Montanta, which houses Grinnell Glacier. (Beth J. Harpaz / The Associated Press)
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day outdoors, perhaps at a place like Glacier National Park in Montanta, which houses Grinnell Glacier. (Beth J. Harpaz / The Associated Press)

Why go there?

On April 22, 1970, 20 million people in the U.S. mobilized to let their government know they cared about protecting the planet they live on. This first Earth Day launched a decade of sweeping changes in environmental policy and conservation, including the passage of the Endangered Species Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Fifty years later, the fate of our planet has become an increasingly worrisome issue, and the imminent threat of losing natural wonders to climate change has motivated many to visit these wonders before they’re gone.

In this April, 22, 1970 file photo, a Pace College student in a gas mask “smells” a magnolia blossom in City Hall Park on the first Earth Day in New York. (The Associated Press)In this April, 22, 1970 file photo, a Pace College student in a gas mask “smells” a magnolia blossom in City Hall Park on the first Earth Day in New York. (The Associated Press)
In this April, 22, 1970 file photo, a Pace College student in a gas mask “smells” a magnolia blossom in City Hall Park on the first Earth Day in New York. (The Associated Press)

The best way to honor the spirit of the first Earth Day on its 50th anniversary is to participate in an Earth Day action event to show your support. But you can also embark on an Earth Day-inspired getaway.

Several national parks have held special celebrations for Earth Day in years past, sometimes including exhibits about conservation efforts and volunteer cleanup opportunities.

If you decide to visit your nearest national park, choose a travel option with a lower carbon footprint, like public transit, biking (if it’s close enough) or taking the train.

Travel with a lower carbon footprint to celebrate Earth Day, taking advantage of programs like Amtrak’s national parks program. (Justin Franz / The Flathead Beacon / The Associated Press)Travel with a lower carbon footprint to celebrate Earth Day, taking advantage of programs like Amtrak’s national parks program. (Justin Franz / The Flathead Beacon / The Associated Press)
Travel with a lower carbon footprint to celebrate Earth Day, taking advantage of programs like Amtrak’s national parks program. (Justin Franz / The Flathead Beacon / The Associated Press)

From Seattle, you can take Amtrak directly to Glacier National Park. Amtrak even offers getaway packages if you’re not much for planning. Or if you’ve got your eye on more southerly destinations, hop on the train to Merced, California (a little more than 30 minutes from San Francisco), and take a two-hour trip on the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System to the famed Yosemite National Park, which celebrates its 130th birthday in October.

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AUGUST

Salute to women’s rights

  • Commemorative date: August 18, 1920
  • Event: 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave many women the right to vote.

Suggested destination:

Seneca Falls, New York — Visit this small town in upstate New York, where the first women’s rights convention was held.

Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and other suffragettes from the National Woman’s Party won the fight for ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. (The Associated Press)Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and other suffragettes from the National Woman’s Party won the fight for ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. (The Associated Press)
Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and other suffragettes from the National Woman’s Party won the fight for ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. (The Associated Press)

Why go there?

The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, giving some women in the U.S. the right to vote. (Many Black women were still kept from the polls due to racist laws, violence and discrimination — sometimes even from within the women’s voting-rights movement itself — so keep that in mind while visiting these sites. It wasn’t until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which celebrates its 55th anniversary this year, that all women gained the right to vote. Visit with a critical eye and maybe arm yourself with a copy of women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech.)

Washington, D.C., is probably the more obvious choice for a getaway to commemorate this momentous occasion. But the ratification of the 19th Amendment might not have been possible without the two-day women’s rights convention held July 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, which helped launch a widespread movement for voting rights as a major tenet of the women’s rights movement.

These large bronze statues are the signature at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretta Mott and others attended the pivotal 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. (Michael Okoniewski / The Associated Press) These large bronze statues are the signature at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretta Mott and others attended the pivotal 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. (Michael Okoniewski / The Associated Press)
These large bronze statues are the signature at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretta Mott and others attended the pivotal 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. (Michael Okoniewski / The Associated Press)

Every July, the town hosts Convention Days to commemorate the event (this year, “Legacy of our Foremothers” will be held July 17-19, and Coline Jenkins, the great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is the keynote speaker). In honor of this year’s centennial, Seneca Falls is holding a yearlong celebration that will feature many special events.

Seneca Falls is home to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and also the Women’s Hall of Fame. It’s also just a 10-minute drive to Auburn, New York, where you can pay homage to another great woman in U.S. history at the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, where the famous liberator lived out her life.

If you want to take a break from all this history, drive 30 minutes to Finger Lakes, New York, where you can stay at a cozy bed-and-breakfast, ski if it’s the season or just relax by the lake. Alternatively, camp out at the nearby Cayuga Lake State Park, fish for trout or bring your birding binoculars to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

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NOVEMBER

Happy birthday, Bruce Lee!

  • Commemorative date: Nov. 27, 1940
  • Event: 80th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s birth

Suggested destinations: 

San Francisco and Oakland, California — If he had stayed with us, the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee would be celebrating his 80th birthday this fall. Visit the Bay Area for a glimpse at Lee’s birthplace and the site of one of his most famous fights.

Bruce Lee poses in his last motion picture, 1979’s “Game of Death,” in which he plays a martial arts star being harassed by an underworld syndicate. The late martial artist would have turned 80 years old in 2020. (The Associated Press) Bruce Lee poses in his last motion picture, 1979’s “Game of Death,” in which he plays a martial arts star being harassed by an underworld syndicate. The late martial artist would have turned 80 years old in 2020. (The Associated Press)
Bruce Lee poses in his last motion picture, 1979’s “Game of Death,” in which he plays a martial arts star being harassed by an underworld syndicate. The late martial artist would have turned 80 years old in 2020. (The Associated Press)

Why go there?

Seattle proudly claims the years Lee spent here as a martial arts student and teacher, and as a husband and father. But if you’re looking for a weekend getaway to celebrate Lee’s beginnings, head to the Bay Area, where Lee was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Pro tip: Pick up a copy of Charles Russo’s “Striking Distance” and use it as a guide to Lee’s years in the Bay Area.

Visit the 95-year-old Great Star Theater in Chinatown where, rumor has it, Lee’s father used to perform as an opera star, and where Lee made his film debut as a newborn in the movie “Golden Gate Girl.” Occasionally, the theater plays old martial arts films. If you’re brave enough, sign up for a class with one of Lee’s former classmates at the U.S. Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy.

A view of the Dragon’s Gate in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where Bruce Lee was born in 1940. (Scott Chernis / San Francisco Travel Association)A view of the Dragon’s Gate in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where Bruce Lee was born in 1940. (Scott Chernis / San Francisco Travel Association)
A view of the Dragon’s Gate in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where Bruce Lee was born in 1940. (Scott Chernis / San Francisco Travel Association)

Just across the Bay is Oakland, where Lee famously faced off with the Bay Area’s martial arts establishment in a fight with Wong Jack Man. Legend has it that San Francisco’s traditional martial arts elders took issue with Lee teaching martial arts to non-Chinese students at his newly opened studio (at 4175 Broadway). If Lee had lost the fight to Man, he would no longer have been allowed to teach non-Chinese students. Accounts vary as to how it was won, but the fact remains: Lee won. The fight was recently captured in the 2017 film “Birth of the Dragon.”

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Also, stop for refreshments at some of the Bay’s iconic Chinese restaurants. Brave the line at Tao Yuen pastry in Oakland for dim sum to-go, or take your time poring over the massive menu at Great Eastern in San Francisco. If you’re looking for a place that was around when Lee was growing up in the area, check out the Hang Ah Tea Room. The humble, cozy little spot squirreled away in a Chinatown alley celebrates its 100-year anniversary this year.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Clive Davis thrilled with Whitney Houston’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honour

Clive Davis is ”ecstatic” over Whitney Houston‘s induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The late singer – who died aged 48 in 2012 – was announced as one of the six new inductees to the Hall on Wednesday (15.01.20) and her former mentor thinks the recognition is a really ”special” thing to happen.

He said: ”I’m delighted with the news, ecstatic. Official recognition and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is unique, special and really cherished.”

The 87-year-old producer thinks Whitney’s place in the Hall is ”fully deserved” because she was so influential.

He told Billboard magazine: ”It’s very important to Whitney’s legacy and fully deserved. She and Aretha Franklin have influenced more young artists than any other artists I know…

”She was more than an incredibly successful artist — she had a unique role in breaking down the barriers at MTV. She was really the first female black artist that MTV embraced and was consistent in the devotion they had to what she did.”

And Clive believes the ‘I Have Nothing’ hitmaker would have been ”touched” by the honour if she were still alive.

He said: ”She’d be touched, grateful. There’s no question. She never took anything for granted. I always asked her, ‘Are you pinching yourself?’ She truly would be touched by this unique and special recognition. It would be very important to her.”

Clive – who will attend the induction ceremony in Cleveland on 2 May – was also happy to see the late Notorious B.I.G. among the new inductees too.

He said: ”I congratulate Puffy on The Notorious B.I.G..

”I vividly remember the day when we made our deal with Bad Boy Records. He played me three or four cuts of the then-unknown Notorious B.I.G.

”It really was on the basis of those cuts and his vision that Biggie was gonna be unique and special that it all turned out. I’m very, very happy for Biggie’s family and Puffy. There’s no question, very grateful he’s being recognised too.”

Joining Whitney and Biggy in being inducted this year will be the late Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, T-Rex, and The Doobie Brothers.

The six inductees beat the 10 other acts – Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motorhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy – who made it onto the ballot list but failed to get enough votes to make it through.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Museum previews famous photos in Black History Month exhibit

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – An award-winning filmmaker introduced the Huntsville Museum of Art’s latest exhibit for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and Black History Month.

Jack Mitchell, creator of Harlem, Hollywood, Broadway: African-American Legends was known for many works of art, including photographs of famous black artists and performers during his lifetime.

“Jack’s very first cover shot, an African-American magazine called ‘color’,” explained Craig Highberger, a documentary filmmaker who is now the executive director of Mitchell’s archives.

In history, some photographers struggled with successfully capturing black skin on camera. Mitchell conquered it.

“He was a master of lighting and indeed,” explained Highberger. “You probably will never see more beautiful photographs of African-Americans than these.”

The Huntsville Museum of Art found it fitting to exhibit several of Mitchell’s photos through Black History Month.

“We’ve got in this exhibition, Toni Morrison, the novelist, Harry Belefonte, Morgan Freeman,” said Highberger. “So many people of my generation know those people.”

Many of the photos were captured on actual film between the years 1961 and 2001.

“It’s a learning experience and the museum has done wonderful work so that you can actually walk around and learn about all of these famous people,” said Highberger.

Mitchell would go on to become the official photographer of Alvin Ailey’s dance company and the very first professional photographer to take photos of Whitney Houston.

“He loved most of all, making the prints himself,” Highberger added.

Highberger said not only did Mitchell cherish his technique and work, but he also cherished the people he worked with until the day he died.

Friday was a special preview event for the art.

You can stop by the museum and check out the exhibit beginning Sunday, January 19 until March 22.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Johnny Cash was no white supremacist

Marching through dark streets under torches, the mob proudly displayed their swastikas, shouting “Heil, Hitler” and chanting the chilling refrain, “Blood and soil! Blood and soil!”

One alt-right protester in the 2017 Charlottesville, Va., march (which resulted in the death of a counterprotester) was photographed wearing a Johnny Cash T-shirt.

The association of Cash with the hate-filled, white-supremacist rally drew a sharp public rebuke from the Cash family. Cash’s daughter Rosanne posted a passionate note on her Facebook page on behalf of herself and the other Cash children.

Under the heading “A message from the children of Johnny Cash,” Rosanne described her father as “a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice. … His pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics. He would be horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred. … Our dad told each of us, throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love.'”

When you think of the music of the Man in Black, you mostly think of the music where Cash speaks up for the poor, struggling and the disenfranchised, songs that “beat with the rhythm of love and social justice.”

But Cash’s patriotism often made the gospel messages found in his music vulnerable to distortion and misappropriation. Nationalistic nostalgia can lead us into dark, troubled waters.

No song better captures this dynamic than “Ragged Old Flag.” The song, from the 1974 album of the same title, recounts a narrative of loss and decay. The problem is that it conjures up feelings of resentment, causing us to peer anxiously across the political aisle, our backyard fences and our national borders as we search for the culprits who are hurting America. The image of the ragged old flag — a damaged America — creates suspicion and paranoia.

We can keep the gospel witness of Johnny Cash free from the temptations of patriotic nostalgia by focusing on how his music spoke up for the people the American Dream has left behind. The music of Cash is at its best, artistically and theologically, when he calls for “inclusive patriotism.” When Cash sings “These are my people,” we see his advocacy for Native Americans, prisoners cheering in Folsom and San Quentin, Great Depression farmers and the black artists he invited on “The Johnny Cash Show” in the early 1970s.

Songs we sing about America must be complicated and often critical. Criticism is an expression of love and an act of patriotism. Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” and “Bitter Tears” (an album of Native American protest songs) meet that standard. My favorite Cash lyric comes from his little-known song “All God’s Children Ain’t Free,” on the album “Orange Blossom Special”: “I’d sing more about more of this land, but all God’s children ain’t free.”

Our capacity for prophetic critique flows out of these conflicts and tensions — the gap between national aspiration and national failure, between national pride and national guilt. When this capacity for criticism erodes we lose what Walter Brueggemann has called “the prophetic imagination,” the ability to imagine our nation standing under the judgment of God.

FILE--Country singer Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in this 1995 file photo. Cash, 69, was hospitalized Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001 with bronchitis and was listed in stable condition on Tuesday. (AP Photo/TBS, File)
FILE–Country singer Johnny Cash poses for a portrait in this 1995 file photo. Cash, 69, was hospitalized Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001 with bronchitis and was listed in stable condition on Tuesday. (AP Photo/TBS, File)

In our own troubled, polarized political climate, most of us struggle. Like Cash, we’re grateful for our freedoms, but we are also crying out for “a more perfect union.”

Adapted from “Trains, Jesus, & Murder: The Gospel According to Johnny Cash” by Richard Beck.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Uninsured people in Canada face sky-high bills, delays in treatment, doctors say

In a Scarborough, Ont., clinic, a woman receives test results with news no one wants to hear: she has stage three breast cancer.

But along with the prospect of chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy, she’s also facing a bill in the thousands, because she doesn’t have health insurance.

CBC Radio is calling her Grace because she fears she may risk being deported if her identity is revealed. She came to Canada legally in 2001 as part of the live-in caregiver program, but lost her job — and her status — before she could complete it.

“I feel like it’s ripping me apart,” she said. “I have to put [on] a brave face just like nothing happened.”

Grace first detected a lump last August. She paid hundreds of dollars for a mammogram and ultrasound at a walk-in clinic — but without a financial guarantor, couldn’t afford a biopsy to get a diagnosis.

I thought, Oh my God. Will I die of the bill, or will I die of the sickness?– Grace

In the meantime, she was prescribed antibiotics and Tylenol for the pain.

The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare (CCIRH) agreed to do the diagnostics at no cost to Grace.

The clinic’s volunteer oncologist who delivered the news told White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman she’s likely looking at treatment at a cost north of $10,000.

According to a 2016 report by the Wellesley Institute, an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 people live in Canada without health insurance.

They could be landed immigrants living in Ontario, Quebec or B.C., which mandate a three-month waiting period before provincial health benefits kick in. They could also be temporary foreign workers who remained in Canada after their contracts ended, refugee claimants or people seeking asylum.

Paul Caulford looks after a child at the Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare. (Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare)

Veteran family doctor Dr. Paul Caulford, who works at the CCRIH clinic, calls the 500,000 figure a “conservative estimate.”

“Health equity is the issue here. As physicians … we try our best to create health equity access, to reduce the health disparities that happen within our population,” he said.

‘Greener pasture’ on hold

For the last 18 years, Grace has been working under the table at factory and babysitting jobs, keeping herself afloat and sending money to her family back home.

She would have been able to apply for permanent residency after working for 24 months over three years in the then live-in caregiver program. But she says she lost her job and status after being “hunted” by her abusive husband.

“I came here looking for a greener pasture; that someday I can take my children here,” she said.

An oncologist holds Grace’s hand while delivering the diagnosis. (Dr. Brian Goldman/CBC)

A health scare in 2012 landed her in the emergency ward. She came out with a new pacemaker and a bill in the tens of thousands. She’s paid most of it out of her own pocket.

“I thought, Oh my God. Will I die of the bill, or will I die of the sickness?”

A 2013 report by the Toronto Board of Health characterized the medical charges billed to uninsured residents as “inconsistent,” and noted that they often don’t know how much they will be charged before treatment.

“Key informants note that hospitals often bill uninsured residents at rates substantially higher than OHIP rates, resulting in exorbitant charges that they cannot afford,” the report said.

Confusion over interim health program for refugees

Caulford is calling on Ontario to waive the three-month wait period for OHIP coverage for people applying for immigration status in the province. 

“Ontario has an obligation under international law to ensure that all residents can effectively access essential health care services,” the province’s human rights commissioner wrote in a July 2019 letter to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Caulford also says it should be mandatory for health-care practitioners and agencies to enrol in the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program, which offers limited health coverage like dental and vision services for refugee claimants and asylum seekers.

In 2012, the Conservative government made cuts to the program, but the Federal Court ruled those cuts violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Doctors and other health-care providers protest the former Conservative government’s cuts to refugee health-care benefits in Halifax in 2013. The Liberal government reversed the cuts in 2016. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The Liberal government reversed the cuts in 2016, and in July 2019 announced a $283 million infusion in response to the surge of asylum claims in the last few years.

Caulford says the 2012 cuts led to confusion about how IFH actually works, and that many physicians refuse to enrol as a result, even today.

“Right now, we see patients with their IFH … go to a walk-in clinic for an infection, and the walk-in clinic won’t see them. They’ll charge them $100 or $150 to be seen,” he said.

White Coat, Black Art reached out to Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office for comment. 

The request was forwarded to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, which responded in part by noting that “publicly funded health insurance is a provincial responsibility.”

‘I think it’s so unfair’

In Vancouver, pediatrician Dr. Anamaria Richardson is worried about four-year-old Renata, who arrived illegally with her mother from Mexico three years ago. They met at Watari, a counselling and support service community for the city’s Latin American community.

Richardson says Renata is non-verbal, and may have autism spectrum disorder. Because her condition isn’t life-threatening, diagnostic tests or treatment aren’t available without payment, which the family cannot afford.

Renata’s mother, who does not speak English, told Richardson she worries that getting even routine medical care puts them at risk of being deported.

“Two years ago she needed to take Renata to a consult with a doctor, and she said it turned into just an immigration questionnaire,” said Richardson. “I think it’s so unfair.”

She says she understands why some Canadians might object to coverage for non-citizens, especially when health-care budgets are strained. But she believes capacity exists for patients like Grace and Renata.

“I understand that it is a very costly venture. However, we live in a country that has so much, and I feel like we need to at least bring light to the issue,” she said.

‘A lot of faith’

The CCRIH clinic operates on private donations and a small amount of money from the provincial government.

“It runs out about five months into the year … we’re going on fumes for about seven months,” Caulford said.

Doctors, nurse practitioners and other health-care providers volunteer their time to work there, donating the small government stipend they receive back to the clinic to help keep it afloat.

During a visit earlier this month, Caulford says he was alarmed at how dramatically Grace’s tumour has grown since the fall.

“As a physician, we see so much. [But] I just stepped backwards when I saw this thickened, inflamed, red … warm, hot mass that was eight centimetres that started out at two to three centimetres in October,” he said.

Caulford speaks in studio with White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman. (Sujata Berry/CBC)

Promisingly, a CT scan funded by donations revealed that while the cancer spread to her lymph nodes, her bones, lungs and liver are clear.

Caulford has reached out to several doctors about Grace’s situation, and two breast surgeons have offered to waive their fees to help with treatment.

He hopes to start chemotherapy soon with the donations they’ve gathered already and hopefully raise more — “on a lot of faith.”

But he wishes it didn’t need to come to this.

“Grace has been working here for 20 years. … When does she become Canadian enough for us to care enough, without being too judgmental?”


Written by Jonathan Ore. Produced by Sujata Berry.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Working Together: The Best Denver Music Collaborations

Music would be nothing without collaboration. When artists come together to create something new and different, their sounds become more interesting — often surprising. In recent years, Denver’s scene has nurtured many inspired alliances between local and national artists. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

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Nathaniel Rateliff with John Prine and Courtney Marie Andrews
The Marigold Singles

The Night Sweats are just one outlet for Nathaniel Rateliff’s deep artistry. He’s always been a sensitive singer-songwriter at heart. And years before he became Colorado’s beloved-but-atypical soul man, Rateliff wailed cryptic folk songs that could make Leonard Cohen blush. It’s why Rateliff sounds at home fingerpicking dusky guitar lines and trading lyrics with John Prine and Courtney Marie Andrews on two of The Marigold Singles. Released in December, these covers of two Prine originals are part of a series of releases benefiting the Marigold Project, Rateliff’s private foundation that funds various social-justice nonprofits. Proceeds from these recordings are going to the Sierra Club Foundation and Harm Reduction Coalition. With these songs, Rateliff proves that his softer side is simply beautiful and that collaboration pays off.

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Trev Rich
“Elevate”
It has been a hard ride for Denver’s premier rapper, Trev Rich. Back in 2016, Rich signed to Cash Money Records and was immediately put on the map. Soon, the label started having legal issues and Rich cut ties, opting to drop his next albums himself. After lukewarm releases, a terribly timed DUI, a failed show, an ill-fated trip to Los Angeles and even a lost wallet, Rich was ready to give up the game. Then he turned to faith. His prayers were answered in the form of a new label signing, a sanctified new album Trap Gospel, and an amazing collaboration track for the Academy Award-winning animated film Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. The song, “Elevate,” including DJ Khalil, Denzel Curry, YBN Cordae and Swayvay, shows off Rich’s ability to write a tremendous hook that complements other standout emcees.

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Esmé Patterson with Shakey Graves
“Dearly Departed”
“Dearly Departed” — written by Esmé Patterson and Austin troubadour Shakey Graves, aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia — tackles the timeless musical tropes of love and death. As Patterson tells it, she teamed up with Garcia on a fateful Halloween morning after meeting him on tour. Roused by the Halloween spirit, the duo wrote a catchy, tongue-in-cheek romp about ghostly ex-lovers. The immediate popularity of the tune and joys of working with another gifted writer prompted Patterson to leave her longtime Americana band Paper Bird and start a successful solo career.

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Colorado Symphony with The Flaming Lips

The Soft Bulletin: Live at Red Rocks
In the realm of local music, major cool points go to the Colorado Symphony. The orchestra can shred classic favorites like Bach, but it also conducts surprising collaborations with mainstream artists ranging from Amos Lee to Tenacious D. In 2016, the symphony joined Oklahoma art-rockers the Flaming Lips to play the band’s seminal 1999 album, The Soft Bulletin, live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The wild, thematic soundscapes of The Soft Bulletin melded so well with chamber instruments, the Flaming Lips dropped a live album of the performance last November, played the album with the Colorado Symphony again last February, and have released an engrossing live video of “What Is the Light?” from the 2016 performance.

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GRiZ
Ride Waves

If it isn’t obvious, GriZ, aka Grant Kwiecinski, works well with others. The Michigan-born, Denver-based electronica artist has been expanding his genre’s horizons with numerous partnerships and various instrumentation (Kwiecinski deejays and plays sax). 2019’s Ride Waves includes many acclaimed artists, deepening Kwiecinski’s groovy, catchy, “future-funk” sound. On “My Friends and I Pt. 2,” Kwiecinski brings out the playful side of Snoop Dogg. On “A New Day,” Matisyahu transforms an island groove into a social anthem. On “Bustin’ Out,” Bootsy Collins channels the vintage funk that he helped pioneer into bouncy rap verses. Wiz Khalifa pours his heart into the soulful “Find My Own Way.” The point being: GRiZ’s genius is in getting the unexpected from those he works with.

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déCollage with Naytronix
“U.R.theoneichoose”

DéCollage frontman Reed Fox has created a world of psychedelic auditory wonder right here in Denver. Fox is the mastermind behind Moon Magnet, a local musical collective built around collaboration and avant-garde songwriting. It was out of déCollage’s progressive sounds, which fall somewhere between Animal Collective and Oingo Boingo, that Fox and a team of artists created Moon Magnet. Recently, déCollage teamed up with Naytronix (aka Nate Brenner), the bassist of an equally eclectic project: Tune-Yards. Together, Fox and Brenner wrote “U.R.theoneichoose” with musicians Ben Weirich and Kris Becker The song, which dropped on January 7, ties together Brenner’s gritty, fuzzed-out bass grooves with Fox’s carefree production and earworm melodies from Weirich and Becker. When the song ends, it’s hard not to play it again.

Detour enlisted local musicians to play the 5 Pointers. Felix Fast4ward is Wex Abeo, entrusted with a two-pronged psychedelic harp.EXPAND

Detour enlisted local musicians to play the 5 Pointers. Felix Fast4ward is Wex Abeo, entrusted with a two-pronged psychedelic harp.

Michael Emery Hecker

Detour with Venus Cruz, Felix Fast4Ward, CRLCRRLL and Dameion Hines
5 Pointers

In November 2019, Denver artist Detour, aka Thomas Evans, took the Denver music scene eighty years into the future. To do this, he created an imaginary band comprising local musicians Venus Cruz, Carl Crrll, Felix Fast4Ward, and Dameion Hines called the 5 Pointers, then created an entire world of memorabilia dedicated to it. Red Bull Presents helped Evans turn Redline Gallery into a museum dedicated to the band, filled with interactive art pieces, including fake newspapers (because those are still around in 2099). Throughout the month-long exhibit, the 5 Pointers played live, bringing to life a message about black art and music in Denver. Five Points has long been home to Denver’s African-American community, making it a mecca for black culture. With this collaboration, Evans is showing that it still is.

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Jesse Elliot with Anna Morsett, Natalie Tate, Lindsay Giles and Ben Desoto
Ark Life

Collaborations can quickly turn into bands. Take Ark Life, which formed in 2014 when musician Jesse Elliot stopped in Denver on tour from Washington, D.C., with his rock band, These United States. He ended up staying three months with fellow musician Lindsay Giles, who introduced him to drummer Ben Desoto and guitarist Natalie Tate. Once Giles began playing keys and These United States bassist Anna Morsett joined in, the five friends began jamming. Out came Ark Life. Elliot’s raspy voice paired with the tender harmonies of Morsett, Giles and Tate, recalled classic-rock favorites like Fleetwood Mac and the Band. Ark Life immediately made an impression, and soon the band was sharing the stage with major artists throughout the city. In 2015, Ark Life reached its rather abrupt end. Perhaps one day this collaboration will be reunited. Until then, the band’s only album, The Dream of You & Me, is still streaming on Spotify.

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Members of Dead & Company, Snarky Puppy, Soullive and more
Denver Comes Alive

On January 31, members of Dead & Company, Snarky Puppy, Pretty Lights Live, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Soullive, the Disco Biscuits and a handful of locals will join up at the Mission Ballroom to jam Denver back to life in the new year. This mighty musical fraternization — which is sure to have too many guitar solos — is a spin-off of the Brooklyn Comes Alive series by Live for Live Music. Inspired by the improvisational nature of the New Orleans Jazz Festival, “Brooklyn Comes Alive” concerts are centered around pairing up amazing musicians and watching the magic happen. It’s about time that Denver had its own giant jam concert, given the city’s history with the genre. And with so many collaborations, this event is sure to be a treat for all local jam lovers.

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Pretty Lights
Pretty Lights Movement

Before relocating to New Orleans and taking a break from music, Fort Collins-born electronica pioneer Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, embraced collaboration swiftly and often, from using an iconic John Denver sample to pairing up with the Colorado Symphony for an epic Red Rocks show. But in 2017, Smith upped the ante by turning his record label into the Pretty Lights Movement, built on the idea of collaboration and inclusion. Smith made strides in creating a community and family around the Pretty Lights Movement through tons of touring.

What are your favorite Denver collaborations? Let us know at editorial@westword.com.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Detroit in the winter? Yep — there’s tons to do in gay-friendly Mich. city

gay travel Detroit, gay news, Washington Blade
Drag Bingo at The Five in Detroit. (Photo by Bill Malcolm)

Grab your passport. Your Detroit weekend getaway may want to also include a trip to Windsor, Ontario (Canada) — just two miles away from downtown Detroit via bridge or tunnel. It’s one of the many amazing things about the Motor City. You might want to take in the shopping (your dollar is worth $1.30), pick up some only-in-Canada treats (like Cadbury candies imported from Britain) and more.

Getting there

You can easily fly there including on Southwest Airlines (my favorite) or on Delta (which has a hub in Detroit). You may want a car — after all this is the Motor City. Detroit has a great freeway system and you can go 70 mph even in town. 

What to do

The museums of Detroit are amazing and all close together in Midtown which is easily accessed from downtown via the new Q Streetcar or from the suburbs on the SMART FAST express bus. 

The Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave.) has a special exhibit now, Michigan’s Great Lakes photo exhibit. Also on display are selection of African-American art works (Detroit Collects).  Another current exhibit, Humble and Human, features Impressionist-era treasures.

The Charles Wright Museum of African American History is nearby at 315 East Warren. It begins in Africa and into America with the horrors of slavery followed by emancipation. It’s a stunning eye opener. Details at thewright.org. 

Also nearby is the Detroit History Museum where you can learn about the historic city settled by the French in 1734 after being discovered in 1665. Indeed, it was a fur trading hub. The Museum also chronicles the city’s ups and downs including the 1967 riots. The D also has a rich music history which spans from the Motown Sound (the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and more) to Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers).

Beautiful Belle Isle State Park in Detroit is on the Detroit River. You can watch the ships go by or visit the Nature Center. 

Birmingham is a cute suburb full of trendy shops and great restaurants. Like Royal Oak, Ferndale and Midtown Detroit, it’s very walkable. 

Nightlife

Don’t miss drag queen bingo and drag Sunday brunch at the Five15 (600 S. Washington Ave. in Royal Oak). Next door is Pronto which features a fun bar and restaurant.  

Down the road in trendy Ferndale (the gay suburb) you will find SoHo (205 9 Mile) which features a fun mixed crowd. 

The Hayloft Saloon in Detroit is a lot of fun. Located at 8070 Greenfield, it’s a friendly and frisky crowd.

Out in Ann Arbor your will find the Aut Bar which is also a restaurant as well as the Necto nightclub. 

Up in Pontiac you will find the Liberty Bar and Poutinerie which features music videos on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Where to stay and eat

A former resident of Royal Oak, I stayed in Troy at the new Towne Place Suites (14 Mile and Stephenson) as well as at the Baymont Inn and Suites by Wyndham (a bargain hunter’s dream). Both are handy to the I-75 Chrysler Freeway and Royal Oak and Ferndale. Nearby is the Powerhouse Gym ($10 daily fee) and next door to it is the new Royal Grill (1467 W. 14 Mile in Madison Heights) which features great Lebanese food. Try the fresh carrot juice. 

The Marriott Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit has great views. The new Shinola is supposed to be the new boutique hotel and is also downtown as is the fabulous Westin Book Cadillac. Downtown Detroit high rises are mainly from the 1920s and 1930s and have been revitalized to their former glory. 

Corktown just south of downtown features great restaurants including The Mercury Grille, which is known for its burgers and fries, which are fried in lard. 

Travel tips 

Michigan roads don’t generally have left turns. Instead, they make you do a U turn. It’s called the Michigan Left. Soft drink cans are worth 10 cents deposit. 

You will find great Lebanese food everywhere including food to go at gas stations. The region has a large population of Lebanese. 

For more information, go to visitdetroit.com for information on The D and to windsoressex.com for Windsor. 

The LGBTQ publications include Metra Magazine which highlights the nightlife as does OutPost which bills itself as Detroit’s gay guide.  

Between the Lines is now biweekly and occasionally runs my column (pridesource.com). It’s Michigan’s source for LGBTQ news as well as an informative calendar of upcoming events.  

The weekly in Detroit is known as Metro Times and has a lot of great entertainment ideas. 

The D has been totally revitalized and is a must if you have not been there lately. Written off for dead by naysayers, it has zoomed back to be an affordable, interesting, fun destination where you won’t have enough time for all there is to do. It is Midwestern friendly without the attitude of Chicago (or Toronto). You owe yourself a visit to the D. 

Bill Malcolm’s syndicated LGBTQ value travel column appears in publications from North Carolina to California. He resides in Indianapolis but has lived in Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.  

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Randy Weston – Photo and Art Exhibition Openi

Gwen Black on Microphone, artists, musicians and photographers

The late, Great Randy Weston (4/6/26 – 9/1/18), was remembered in a photo and art exhibition at the stately Stuyvesant Mansion in Brooklyn on December 12.  Performing at the opening reception were Grammy-nominated musicians Hassan Benjaafar and Amino Belyamani.  Benjaafar plays Sintir, a 3-string bass guitar/lute.  Belyamani plays percussion.

Among the many guests was acclaimed sculptor, painter, printmaker Otto Neal.  A few years younger than Weston, the two budding artists grew up on the same Bedford-Stuyvesant block.  Neal said, “I knew Randy for more than 70 years.  He was always the genuine, kind, upbeat person you were glad to be able to call a friend.   There aren’t a lot of people with these traits. “

Michael Howard of Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium was in Weston’s company on numerous occasions, and was responsible for rounding up a group of jazz aficionados for this exhibit by simply mentioning Randy Weston’s name. 

Even guests who did not know Weston personally liked his music.  One such guest and artist was Michael Chamblee, who drew three mixed medium paintings for showing at exhibits honoring Weston and his African infused music style.  

Larry Weekes of the Fulton Street Art Festival favored a tune Weston wrote “Blue Moses” and interpreted the music in a striking painting by the same name. 

The opening reception featured numerous paintings, photographs, entertainment, and light refreshments.   Kim Weston-Moran, Randy’s daughter, hosted the event and was able to meet and greet the many admirers.  Weston’s trademark piece, African Village Bedford-Stuyvesant was the recorded music prelude to the entertainment portion of the evening.  The art pieces are for sale.  Some have already been sold. 

Weston’s music dates to the late 1940’s.  While on a U.S. State Department organized tour in Morocco, Weston decided to settle there, and from 1967 to 1972 ran his African Rhythms club in Tangier.  “African Rhythms” was what he did – and the name of his working band, that for many years featured Benny Powell, musical director Talib Kibwe, Alex Blake, and Baba Neil Clarke.

Weston learned Gnawa music from indigenous Moroccan musicians.  Gnawa people were Sub-Saharan Africans enslaved by Arab Muslims.  And, in the same way that enslaved Africans created blues, country music, and jazz in the U.S., our Gnawa cousins developed this spirited music and culture.  It is now a popular music form in this area and internationally.

Weston has received numerous awards such as the Society for American Music’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2017; Legends of Jazz award from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on June 14, 2017; added to the Downbeat Hall of Fame in 2016; recipient of the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana, the Black Music Star Award, and numerous other awards, just to name a few.  He received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Brooklyn College in 2006.

Weston was named National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master in 2001.  This is the highest honor given by America to jazz artists.  He received the 1998 French Order of Arts and Letters, created to recognize outstanding artistic work and the cultural influence of great artists and writers in France and throughout the world.  

And, in 2011 he received a commendation from Morocco’s King Hassan VI, recognizing his contributions to internationalizing Gnawa music.

Curated and produced by Gwen Black of Gwen Black Arts/Arts and Jazzfest NYC and Friends of Randy Weston in Association with the Fulton Art Fair, Inc. the exhibition and sale is at Stuyvesant Mansion, 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, Brooklyn through January 19th, 2020.  Please visit www.artsandjazzfestny.com.  Call Larry Weekes/Fulton Art Fair, Inc. at 347-526-6073 for viewing and gallery schedule. 

Come on over – you won’t be disappointed.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment