Today is the sixth day of Black History Month. I tend to use this time as a way to remind readers – and everyone else of a couple of important facts:
- You can’t love Black artists and their work, and not see them as people
- Black lives — and Black art matters
- Black culture is American culture
So as we go through the month, I’m going to talk about a collection of Black artists. It’ll be fairly comprehensive and eclectic list — although it won’t be a complete list.
So far I’ve mentioned the following artists:
- Patti LaBelle
- Rick James
- John Lee Hooker
- Janet Jackson
- Aretha Franklin
- Chaka Khan
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe
I don’t think I can talk about Black History Month without shouting out the legendary and incomparable Curtis Mayfield. Besides being responsible for the Superfly soundtrack, Mayfield was largely considered the voice of the Civil Rights Movement. Socially conscious and funky? Sure thing.
We lost Curtis 24 years ago, but the hopes and dreams at the core of his work still remain as powerful as they were when first released.