Vinyl

Name That Tune: The Embattled Art of Sampling

Tweet   In 1989, the legal and artistic implications of digital sampling in hip-hop were reaching a boiling point. Old-school rockers called it “stealing,” forgetting that their own heroes of rock guitar had lifted liberally from Chuck Berry and other early black music pioneers. In one of my earliest pieces as a music writer, I wrote about the art…

Lift Every Voice and Sing3

God Bless the Black American National Anthem

Tweet The paradox of the Obama presidency, CNN recently pointed out, is that it has exposed a more deeply ingrained and widespread racism in America than many realized existed. It’s all very succinctly encapsulated in the Donald Trump pitch “Make America great again,” which of course is code for “Make America white again.” That’s why…

BANNED!!

Open Letter to the Randolph County Board of “Education”

TweetEarlier this morning, I sent the following letter to the Randolph County Board of “Education.” For those who haven’t read the news, this board voted to ban Ralph Ellison’s literary classic Invisible Man from the schools’ reading list. For me, this terrible decision was very personal. I was educated in the small Randolph County town of Asheboro. So, I…