Thanks to Howard Mandel and Laurie Dapice for honoring me as a 2019 Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) Jazz Hero.
Thanks to Brian Zimmerman, Digital Editor of Jazziz Magazine for presenting the award. Thanks to Marika Guyton for organizing the award ceremony. Photos: Gregory Reed
Thanks to Old Dillard Foundation for partnering with Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. for this program
The universe provides. Last week I got the news that the Speech class I taught for 3 years is moving online, leaving me without income in June-July. I cried. I felt helpless. However, as things always go, I have the opportunity to teach 3 classes at PBSC in Palm Beach Gardens, starting May 15, through the summer.
Recently, I published my 14th book, Blues Women: The First Civil Rights Workers. Although it is a tiny book, it is packed with information about 10 powerful women who brought the Blues genre to the attention of millions of Americans. At a time when Africans in America were subjected to Jim Crow laws that further degraded their existence, women like Mamie Smith, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, and Bessie Smith stood their ground on stages across the nation, bringing joy and entertainment to thousands of people, white and black. Their songs are current, today, and their message of the upliftment of the human spirit helped to raise the consciousness of a nation that was built on the backs of their ancestors.