I read with a slight lump in my throat as one of my favourite soul singers vent her poor spleen on the outcome of the last Grammy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles California in the United States of America. Her grouse, she could not comprehend the cold treatment meted out to the black American artistes, in her opinion, who were accorded the (rare) privilege of participating and attend the ceremony. She really came across in her piece as very bitter which tugged at the sides of my mouth in a grimace.
By her honest observation, she only betrayed her naivety or else our dear Indie Arie must be suffering from mild amnesia. Perhaps we can excuse her ignorance in the politics of the Grammys and besides, blacks in America have never taken the Grammys seriously. It sure would amuse a lot of Blacks who would have had a good laugh at her bellyaching. The Grammys have a sleazy history of discrimination against blacks in general. The same discrimination that compelled music greats like Nat King Cole, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix among others to wear the jerry curl look when the Afro was in vogue among the blacks, and eventually took the life of King of Pop, broke the ageless jinx by becoming America’s first black president and by extension dismantled all socio-political and economic barriers that has kept black America strapped for decades, the Grammies would appear to be the only lifeline left in it’s perpetuation of the white supremacist stranglehold.
Much as a sizable chunk of the entertainment content that make America tick is supplied by the blacks, the whites have always kept a firm grip on the business side of things. And by this token, they control and determine who stays at the top at every point in time. Fundamentally, the Grammys was a white contraption instituted with the sole aim of sealing its dominance which includes running all the major labels with the blacks merely supplying the cheese that powers the industry. It is no longer an issue that blacks take the back the seat each time the Grammys comes. The controversies and media backlash that trails almost all the editions has become the norm. In 1989 Will Smith won the award for Best Rap Performance against popular opinion but did something commendable when he declined the award on the grounds that it wasn’t televised, an obvious racist action. The following year Young MC, a pro-pop rapper, won the award amidst widespread condemnation from the hip-hop world.
For a young lady who drew the weighty remark of ‘’A Gentle Genius’’ from non other than the legendary Stevie Wonder for her incredible creative depth, Indie Arie should may be pay less attention to the seemingly immortal Grammys ghost, and concentrate more on her beautiful music. That is the reason the iconic Don Cornelius created the Soultrain Music Awards as a worthy alternative to the Grammys. And besides, she’s so much better as a recording artiste than a public commentator on issues much less the Grammys which does not give a hoot about her beautiful brown skin.
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