Lee Compares Tyler Perry to Amos & Andy
Spike Lee had an interview with Ed Gordon on Our World with Black Enterprise scheduled to air this weekend. In the interview he complained about “coonery and buffoonery” and both of Tyler Perry’s shows “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne,” comparing them to characters from minstrel shows. “We’ve had this discussion back and forth. When John Singleton [made ‘Boyz in the Hood’], people came out to see it. But when he did ‘Rosewood,’ nobody showed up. So a lot of this is on us! You vote with your pocketbook, your wallet. You vote with your time sitting in front of the idiot box, and [Tyler Perry] has a huge audience. We shouldn’t think that Tyler Perry is going to make the same film that I am going to make, or that John Singleton or my cousin Malcolm Lee [would make]. As African-Americans, we’re not one monolithic group, so there is room for all of that. But at the same time, for me, the imaging is troubling and it harkens back to ‘Amos n’ Andy.’” (Continue Reading…)
Why Should We Run to Black Radio’s Defense?
On May 13, more than 200 protesters gathered outside the Detroit offices of House Judiciary Chairman and longtime Michigan representative John Conyers, who sponsored the controversial Performance Rights Act (HR 848). Known as the “performance tax,” the bill would require that radio stations pay yearly license fees for the right to play music on the air. The protest was sponsored by Radio One, the largest black-owned radio company in the country, with over 50 stations in nearly 20 markets and an increasing share of the so-called urban market via TV One, Giant magazine and the signature syndicated drive-time program, The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Radio One’s “Save Black Radio” campaign responds to fears that the new law would hurt already struggling black-owned radio stations. What’s not clear to me is why we should be crying any tears for Radio One. It is BET without the rump-shaking videos, and it’s nearly as destructive in warping the musical and communal values that have historically made radio an institution in black communities. (Continue Reading…)
Bob Marley’s Photograph Not Selected for Jamaican $5,000 Bill
Cultural stakeholders in Jamaica say that music icon Bob Marley should have been on the new Jamaica $5,000 bill (US$70) and not former prime minister Hugh Shearer, whose impact, they claim, wanes in comparison to that of the reggae legend. The Jamaica Observer said that some see the khaki-coloured note as a political counteraction to the JA$1,000 bill, which bears the image of Michael Manley, former prime minister and People’s National Party politician. “I can’t understand why someone who has done so much for his country has been side-tracked,” Cleveland Brownie, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica said in reference to Marley. (Continue Reading…)
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