Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 6)
Jun25

Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 6)

As we close out Black Music Month, I wanted to share my second choice for everyone! There’s only one person that makes me feel smooth like silk yet strong like concrete: Sade. Born in 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria, 18 year-old Helen Folasade Adu began to sing for the soul-inspired band ‘Pride’ in London. She had been studying at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and living with her English mother after a divorce from her Nigerian father during early childhood. Soon, the sultry-voiced teen attracted the attention of Epic Records, particularly for a single entitled “Smooth Operator”. In 1983, Sade (as she was now called) along with some of her band members signed a recording deal with Epic. Her first album Diamond Life released the following year, with “Your Love Is King” as a feature. It was this work that helped with her Grammy win in 1986. By 2000, Lovers Rock debuted after an eight year hiatus and differed from her other four albums. The record includes my favorite track,”By Your Side.” The melodies of soul and lyrics that explain undying love for another places a perfect example of why Sade is influential in my everyday life. She emphasizes the possibility that everyone can provide and find a safe haven within the one they love. Sade hones her craft with such class, effortless grace, and ease beyond her 56 years. Sade’s most recent project was 2010’s Soldier of Love. She currently stays out of the limelight, but early in her career quoted, “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand.” ColorBlind readers, what are some of your favorite Sade...

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Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 5)
Jun23

Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 5)

As we continue to share our favorite music in honor of Black Music Month, I wanted to readily share my own! Lauryn Hill is one of my all-time favorite artists, especially in the world of hip-hop. Born in 1975, Hill began marking her music territory with her works with the Fugees. The group is known for their hit singles, including “Killing Me Softly” from their album The Score. The success from The Score made Hill’s first album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill highly anticipated, and my Black Music Month choice, “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, earned her one of five Grammy awards in 1998. This particular track exposes relationship contradictions from women and men against one another. Hill provides a warning to both sexes about those who emotionally manipulate all the while using her feminine prowess to encourage healthy relationships. She continues to perform and is currently a part of new music that serves as a tribute to Nina Simone. ColorBlind readers, what were your favorite tracks from The Miseducation of Lauryn...

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Top Picks – Black Music Month (Part 4)
Jun11

Top Picks – Black Music Month (Part 4)

By Veronica Grandison/ColorBlind Magazine For today’s Black Music Month song selection, I chose Nina Simone’s “Four Women.” This powerful song was released in 1966 on Simone’s album Wild is the Wind. The song highlights various stereotypes of African American women and was perceived as racist by many for a time. Simone, also known as the “High Priestess of Soul” was an amazing musical icon and civil rights activist. She pushed the musical envelope during her day by recording controversial music and speaking her mind about political and social issues. Her legacy lives on and she continues to serve as an inspiration for countless artists. Below is a beautiful version of the song that was performed by the soul artists of our day, and original version recorded by Simone...

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Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 3)
Jun09

Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 3)

By Veronica Grandison/ColorBlind Magazine In keeping with CB’s Black Music Month special section,  I want to share a few songs by legendary musicians who have elevated the standard of American popular music. The first one that I’ll be sharing with you today is the soulful, bluesy  song “Use Me” by R&B king Bill Withers. The song was released in 1972 on his classic album Still Bill, and went on to become one of his biggest hits. Withers is known for his down-home simplistic southern lyricism (Grandma’s Hands) and his encouraging messages (Lean on Me). He was recently inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. He no longer performs, which is disappointing to a lot of his fans, but at least we still have his amazing music to keep us going....

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Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 2)
Jun04

Top Picks- Black Music Month (Part 2)

By Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine Who can deny that Destiny’s Child (sometimes referred to as DC) was a contemporary TLC? These girls could sing, dance, and always dressed cute. ““Survivor”” has always been one of my favorite songs as I believe it’s a nice anthem for women in particular. On the flip side of women empowering women, we also have the album “Girl” from the male musical mastermind Pharrell Williams. This album debuted in 2014 and from the various tracks I believe this is Williams’ homage to women.   What are your favorite throwback...

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Top Picks– Black Music Month
Jun02

Top Picks– Black Music Month

By Leah T. Johnson/ ColorBlind Magazine Happy Black Music Month!! Today I am sharing two songs in honor of Black Music Month. They are: 1) Amazing- By Kanye West Ft. Young Jeezy. I know, I know. It’s VERY strange of ME to like this song primarily because 1) I’m not a fan of rap, and 2) I’m not a fan of Kanye’s. However, when I first heard this song in a music history class in college, I liked it ever since. To me, its a good “get-your- mind-right song. 2)Best of Me- Anthony Hamilton. I just told my dad recently that although this song is about two years old I still love it. It’s great to ballroom dance to, and the words are timeless and romantic. Take a listen to the above mentioned songs by clicking the link. Two more of my favorites will be released later this week! Amazing- Kayne West Best of Me- Anthony...

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Five Minutes With Local Author- Ashlee Henderson
Jun01

Five Minutes With Local Author- Ashlee Henderson

By Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine  ColorBlind Magazine believes that reading and education are still fundamental. For this reason, the following interview was conducted with Michigan author prior to the release of her new book on May 30, 2015.  ColorBlind Magazine: How did you know you wanted to write/become an author? Ashlee Henderson: One of my many sayings is “A book is the vehicle, but the story is the driver that gets you there.” I have always had a deep passion for storytelling.  Since I was a little girl my attention has always been on storytelling. I loved to talk about my day and whatever happened to me to whoever would listen. It was my grandmother who made storytelling an “art” for me however. During weekend visits, she would read my favorite story, The Billy Goat Gruff, at bedtime. The way she gave each character their own distinct voice and used inflections perfectly to create suspense in the story always led me to request an early bedtime. I recall always wanting to have the storytelling art like my grandmother in a way that others were captivated and the story would never grow old. Being an author has for me was a strategic way to reach more audiences. It’s given me my vehicle. Although I wish I could, reaching every child with my voice is nearly impossible. Children also learn differently. Being an author with physical books allow me to touch on so many aspects of literacy. I, however, never worry about being limited to by the book, which is fun.   CB: How many children’s books have you written? and how many would you like to write?  AH: I have published 3 books: “Niko and the Trouble Bubble”, “The Adventures of the Ruler Twins” and “Thomas and Mia’s Happy Tummy Hunt”. The actual count on unpublished books…I couldn’t even say. I have been writing since I was a little girl. CB: Tell me more about your latest book… AH: “Thomas and Mia’s Happy Tummy Hunt” is about two best friends on a quest to defeat a tough tummy monster. The book is about children’s nutrition in health. It teaches some very important building blocks to children through creative methods. There has been so much effort put into the book to ensure that children can find new lessons in as they grow. The book is a part of an initiative to give children a chance to be in control of some of their own health. There are also supplemental materials to the book to keep children interested and help educators (and parents) use the book at home. We have an alphabet with personified...

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