Thursday, October 19, 2017

Putting Your Money Where Your Sources Are: Royalties, Nominations and Recognition.

The other week the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced. Amongst this year's bunch included L.L. Cool J, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone and others. (I honestly was so shocked that Nina Simone was not inducted already...) 

The week prior to this announcement, I had accompanied my internship supervisor to a panel she was a part of featuring women in music. Afterwards at lunch with the group, we were talking about pioneering women in music. Someone brought up Lil Hardin Armstrong and her influence to blues, and to add I brought up the stories of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Rose Marie McCoy (who I wrote a bit about here.)

Later that weekend, I came across the video on facebook from Genius about Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" and how she didn't see any royalties up until 2014. This specific topic has been brought up again with the recent Jay-Z's "Bam" and here you can read Genius' coverage on it. I shared the vid and commented: It’s astonishing that so many influential women have been so over looked for their work. That pattern has got to go. 

I very much feel that need for change. To pay women and POC, particularly black women/women of color, for their intellectual, creative (and any kind of) work is so necessary. Societally, institutionally, and culturally we need to prioritize this. For so long they have been overlooked, robbed from, dismissed for their creative genius, underpaid, etc. and continuing that and letting the work of black and brown women go unpaid and unrecognized is unethical. 

Certainly glad to see Sister Rosetta Tharpe getting her credit as the Grandmother of Rock and Roll. Because without her pioneering work to the genre.... there'd be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Musically yours,

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