George Theophilus Walker, the first black man to win the Pulitzer Prize for music

George Theophilus Walker has died not having the achieved the success he hoped for by being the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. “I probably got more publicity nationwide than perhaps any other Pulitzer Prize winner,” he told the Washington Post in 2015. “But not a single orchestra approached me about doing the piece or any[Read More…]

Martin Puryear selected to exhibit at the Venice Biennale

  By Frederick H. Lowe BlackmansStreet.Today You can stop holding your breath or biting your nails because the U.S. State Department has finally chosen an American artist to exhibit at next year’s 58th Venice Biennale. The State Department on August 19th —- more than three months late —- selected Martin Puryear, a 77- year-old African-American artist, known for minimalist, abstract[Read More…]

Smokey Robinson testifies before Congress amid a love fest

By Frederick H. Lowe William “Smokey” Robinson recently testified before Congress about giving musicians greater copyright protection amid  a love fest for him. Women embraced and kissed Robinson, who is now 78. Men stood in line to enthusiastically shake his hand and hug him. Even Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the hearing, called[Read More…]

Delta Blues Museum is awarded a $10,000 grant

By Frederick H. Lowe The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Delta Blues Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to the blues, a $10,000 Art Works grant for recording a new music CD that will showcase the organization’s student band. The grant will fund production of a new recording of the band performing eight to 10 blues songs.[Read More…]

Kanye West’s comments are a painful reminder of a racist politican’s long-ago comments

  Rapper Kanye West’s comments that ‘slavery was a choice’ are very similar to ones made by “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, the racist governor South Carolina from 1890 to 1894 and later a U.S. Senator from 1895-1918. West tweeted to TMZ, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice.” Tillman, also a leader of[Read More…]

Black women’s group pushes the sounds of silence for R. Kelly

R. Kelly’s management today took issue with Time’s Up black women’s caucus after the organization called for a boycott of the singer’s live concerts and records because of his mistreatment of women. He has been dropped from appearing in a concert scheduled for Friday at the University of Illinois in Chicago following protests. Kelly, a Chicago native, said he did[Read More…]

Kendrick Lamar wins the Pulitzer Prize for Music

By Frederick H. Lowe Kendrick Lamar made history on Monday, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his 2017 Rap album “DAMN.” Lamar is the first non-jazz and non-classical musician to win the Pulitzer. The Pulitzer Committee called “DAMN” “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern[Read More…]

Susan Rice joins Netflix’s board

Netflix, Inc., the world’s leading Internet-service company, has named Susan M. Rice, former Ambassador to the United Nations and former U.S. National Security Advisor, to its board of directors. “We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Rice to the Netflix board,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. Rice said she was thrilled to join the board of Netflix. She described[Read More…]