An Interview with Maya Jensen, Filmmaker behind ‘Solidarity in Saya: An Afro-Bolivian Music Movement’

Bolivians of African descent introduced Jensen to Saya music, an old artform which was a universal language in the Spanish-speaking land of their political and labor oppressors. Jensen’s film documents Saya music of today. Continue reading

Dr. Terri Francis talks of Josephine Baker & the burlesque

Dr. Terri Francis will be in Chicago this Friday night April 1 at 7PM for a screening and conversation with Kevin Jerome Everson at Black Cinema House! For those unable to make it, please enjoy and share this Women’s History Month Q & A with her on Josephine Baker, Black women in film, and “the burlesque.” Continue reading

Billy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

Strayhorn

The gospel-influenced and classically-trained pianist and composer is in renaissance of interest and celebration thanks to the establishment of Billy Strayhorn Songs in 1997. The family-owned company’s efforts include marking the centennial of his birth in 2015. The Bill Strayhorn Foundation, Inc’s is committed to deepening appreciation for jazz music in general, starting with Strayhorn. Now longtime fans and new discoverers can enjoy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, a fine biographical coffee table book available from Bolden Books/Agate Publishing in Chicago. Continue reading

Toni Morrison and Boy George Cover Billie Holiday

Morrison has proved to be the most thorough documentarian of African-American female existence in all its forms: in the womb, baby, child, girl, woman, senior, from the afterlife. The mantra of “God bless the child…” is actually her most consistent answer to black women. Enjoy Holiday’s original version, as well as a neat cover by Boy George and Micah Paris. Continue reading

What Billie and Phyllis Sang About

Read my story “What Billie and Phyllis Sang About”, about an abandoned black woman left to survive alone in Harlem, in the new issue of Atticus Review. My favorite Billie Holiday and Phyllis Hyman music is on the story’s companion soundtrack Here. #BillieandPhyllis Continue reading

This Week in Black Women…

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Black women have begun 2015 with some big bangs… Continue reading