Charenee Wade is NYC based jazz vocalist that's poised to become a major voice in preserving this illustrious art form. With a voice both soaring and sweet, her recent project is a tribute to the music of the late Gil Scott-Heron. After listening to the project for the first time, we found ourselves completely in love with Charenee and definitely believe that Gil's spirit is pleased with this offering. Check out these two videos that will give you more depth into the project as well as Charenee as an artist. Then, skip over to iTunes or Google Play and support this album!
Noted, but underrated Black intellectual, Harold Cruse, wrote one of the most critical works in African American social, political, and cultural thought. Entitled The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, the book was published initially in 1967. Containing Cruse's sharp critiques, which are just as prevalent today, the book is a must read for anyone interested (as you should be) in Black intellectual discourse and the continued struggle of African American identity. Cruse left no stone unturned in this work; even venturing into the role of Black artists, their responsibility in the Black community, and the society, at large. In chapter 3, titled Cultural Leadership and Cultural Democracy, Cruse stated:
"Racial democracy is, at the same time, cultural democracy; and the question of cultural democracy in America is posed in a way never before seen or considered in other societies. This uniqueness results historically from the manner in which American cultural developments have been influenced by the Negro presence. Since a cultural philosophy has been cultivated to deny this truth, it remains for the Negro intellectual to create his own philosophy and to bring the facts of cultural history in focus with the culture practices of the present. In advanced societies it is not the race politicians of the "rights" leaders who create the new ideas and the new images of life and man. That role belongs to the artists and the intellectuals of each generation. Let the race politicians, if they will, create political, economic, or organizational forms of leadership; but it is the artists and creative minds who will, and must, furnish the all important content. "
What do you think about Cruse's statements?
So far, the year 2014 has been one for the books as far as releasing iconic figures from Earth so they can soar on that cloud of witnesses with the rest of our ancestors. Starting in December of last year, we lost Nelson Mandela after a lengthy illness. Then, in January, a true protest voice was silenced as the great Amiri Baraka passed away. HHP's Kulture Groove events division launched the Beautiful People Party during that same month and paid tribute to his astounding legacy. In May, the premier Phenomenal Woman Maya Angelou left us and bringing up the rear, at this point, our beloved queen Ruby Dee went on to join Ossie in the Here After and jazz great Horace Silver passed as of yesterday, June 18th.
Each one of these dynamic individuals lived long, prosperous, purposeful lives and through their examples, we are able to cultivate our versions of bountiful living as well. We are supposed to lose them as we know they cannot live forever. But with their passings, there is a question about who will take up the work they leave behind? If we truly understand this cycle of Life, we live so that others may live. Their work should not be in vain. Will it? Are we doing enough to honor the legacies of these individuals and those that have lived before us? We think this bears some serious dialogue. Let's have it here. It is the most befitting way of honoring these lives of greatness.
The InkWell offers informative pieces regarding all aspects of African American culture. For thought provoking content that fuses Black theatre, literature, music, popular culture, and social issues, look no further. Be sure to check back often for new entries and, by all means, don't be afraid to hit up the comments section. We want to interact with you!