WMW Black History Month 2/24/2008
NEWS: Civil rights icon Johnnie Carr, 97, dies By DESIREE HUNTER, Associated Press writer Sat Feb 23, 5:34 PM ET MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Johnnie Carr, who joined childhood friend Rosa Parks in the historic Montgomery bus boycott and kept a busy schedule of civil rights activism up to her final days, has died. She was 97.
Carr died Friday night, said Baptist Health hospital spokeswoman Melody Ragland. She had been hospitalized after a stroke Feb. 11.
Carr succeeded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1967, a post she held at her death. It was the newly formed association that led the boycott of city buses in the Alabama capital in 1955 after Parks, a black seamstress, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to whites on a crowded bus.
A year later the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racial segregation on public transportation.
“Johnnie Carr is one of the three major icons of the Civil Rights Movement: Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Johnnie Carr,” said Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “I think ultimately, when the final history books are written, she’ll be one of the few people remembered for that terrific movement.”
About the Music
Nicole Mitchell has been noted as “a compelling improviser of wit, determination, positivity, and tremendous talent…on her way to becoming one of the greatest living flutists in jazz,” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader). A creative flutist, composer and bandleader, Mitchell placed first as Downbeat magazine’s “Rising Star Flutist 2005-2007, “and was awarded ““Chicagoan of the Year 2006” by the Chicago Tribune. The founder of the critically acclaimed Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, Mitchell’s compositions reach across sound worlds, integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, pop, and African percussion to create a fascinating synthesis of “postmodern jazz.”
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rightsactivist.Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term “Black Classical Music” herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classicalsoul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. “Mississippi Goddam is her response to the murder of Medgar Evers and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four black children. On the recording she cynically announces the song as “a show tune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet.”
“Before I’d be a Slave” was written by Undine Smith Moore in 1953 and is performed by Maria Corley on her CD Soulscapes: Piano Music by African American Women.
Maria Corley is a composer, performer and arranger of music.
Rory Block is the only white performer I am playing on this show. I was unable to find a black woman singer performing Ain’t I a Woman, which is the famous speech by Sojourner Truth, delievered at theWomen’s Convention in 1851 in Akron, Ohio.
“Troubled Water” was composed by Margaret Bonds in 1967 and is performed by Maria Corley from the Soulscapes cd
Deidre McCalla With four critically acclaimed albums to her credit and a new release this year, Deidre McCalla remains the indefatigable road warrior. An African American lesbian feminist, Deidre’s words and music poignantly traverse the inner and outer landscapes of our lives, chronicling our strengths and weaknesses and celebrating the power and diversity of the human spirit.
Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi‘s “Freedom Summer” for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity. Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant champion of civil rights.
Sweet Honey in the Rock was founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon who formed the group out of singers from a vocal workshop she was teaching with the Washington, D.C. Black Repertory Company. Reagon retired from the group in 2004. The name of the group comes from a religious parable from Psalm 81:16 which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them.  Over the years, more than 20 individuals have lent their voices to Sweet Honey in the Rock. Beginning as a quartet, the group is now composed of six African-American women (including a professional American Sign Language interpreter who accompanies the group on concert tours).
Roxanne Shante Biography
Real Name: Lolita Shante Gooden / Born: November 9 1969, Queens NY USA. Shante came to prominence at the tender age of 14 via her related answer record to U.T.F.O.’s 1984 rap hit, ‘ Roxanne, Roxanne’. Gooden was walking outside a New York housing project when she overheard three men discussing U.T.F.O.’s cancellation of a show they were promoting. In turn gooden offered them a reply record. The onlookers, DJ Mister Magic, Tyrone Williams and Marley Marl took her up on the offer. Her version ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ mixed sassy, indignant raps with a funky backbeat. It was a massive hit, which sold over a quarter of a million copies in the New York area alone, and spawned a flood of answerback records (well over a hundred at the final count), as rappers queued to take up the challenge. U.T.F.O. replied by sueing her for using their b-side as the rhythm track.