Monday, January 11, 2016

Rest In Peace David Bowie

I remember the interview below. I remember when David Bowie spoke out on behalf of Black artists.

Mr. Bowie advocated on behalf of Black artists who were silent before, during and AFTER* the combined impact of Mr. Bowie's public prodding and threats made by another White male music insider (CBS Records president Walter Yetnikoff) forced MTV to start playing videos by Black artists, such as "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson.

Keep in mind that Mr. Bowie got on that interview and steered the conversation to THAT topic instead of focusing on promoting his 1983 hit album, Let's Dance. Which included some excellent music, by the way:

*About these Black artists that were the beneficiaries of Mr. Bowie's advocacy: I remember the 80s. I was a teenager, and later on, a college student then; and I was involved Black Nationalist-based protests and activism during that era. I recall various activists' public discussions about maybe calling for boycotts of various then-popular negro groups and artists such as Cameo (who had the reputation of not having any Blacks hired as part of their road crew, etc.).

Simply by opening his mouth in public about the issue, David Bowie did more to help some of that MASSIVE music biz money find its way into Black artists' pockets than most of those Black artists did for themselves or for each other during that era. 

The vast majority of those negroes and colored women were as silent as the grave. I understand that they were too weak and powerless to do or say much (due to the risk of being blacklisted).

My issue is that when White men like David Bowie and the CBS record executive forced other White music biz insiders to showcase Black artists' work in the mainstream, the bulk of those Black artists made no effort to bring other Black folks with them as vendors, road crew, managers, or anything else to share in the "come up." You know, the way other folks do (especially the way the Jews do in the entertainment industry; see An Empire of Their Own, How The Jews Invented Hollywood). Which is a large part of why African-American (AA) artists (and the overall AA collective) remain weak and powerless in the 21st century---and still begging other people to include us in their productions---no matter how many individual AA artists get rich. 

The other large part of why 21st century AA artists have nothing of their own is affluent AA Black men's penchant for funneling whatever wealth they get their hands on to White women and other nonblack women. As I said in the post, Follow The Money And Resources Trail, Part 2 –Generations of BM Entertainers Transferring Wealth To Nonblack Women (Reason #457 Why 21st Century African-American Artists Still Have Nothing Of Their Own):
I feel that African-American women need to reframe their conversations about the plight of African-American women entertainers. Following the money and resource trail makes many things crystal-clear.
When most AA women talk about: (1) the general lack of opportunity for AA women in modern day showbiz, and/or (2) the demeaning portrayals of AA women in modern day showbiz, AA women are urged to direct those grievances solely toward Whites in the entertainment biz. However, Whites in showbiz are not the AA woman artist’s greatest enemy: negro male entertainers are at the root of this persistent problem. Let’s be clear about this:
Negro male entertainers have had access to Hollywood-levels of money for at least the past 45-50 years. The door has been open for BM in showbiz for the past fifty years. But unlike WM in showbiz, negro male entertainers refuse to lift up women from their own race. Once the typical negro male entertainer gets access to Hollywood-level resources, he shuts the door behind himself and “makes it rain” for nonblack women. The typical negro male entertainerdoes not care - at all - about BW being made invisible or being denigrated in showbiz. Negro male entertainers have never cared about anything that affects BW.
Judging from their collective actions, negro male entertainers have NO real interest in building an entertainment industry of their own. The vast majority of negro male entertainers also have no real interest in asserting control over any particular niche in showbiz. Whatever AA-created crumbs exist, such as Tyler Perry’s mess, is built from the money spent by AA women consumers. Meanwhile, none of AA women’s money ever works its way back into BW’s pockets. To put it mildly, Tyler Perry is not a family man. The odds are that his Hollywood money won’t be funneled back toward any BW.
I deeply appreciate (and I'll never forget) what David Bowie did for Black artists during that 1983 interview. May he rest in peace.