WHAT’S GOING ON
The Black Music Month question of the year: What’s up with all the sexually explicit language and lyric content and the pornographic gestures that dominate so much of today’s hip hop and rap music genres? It’s everywhere—on radio, TV, across social media platforms, on street corners, and blaring out of car windows (with children in the back seat).
For the entertainer, it seems the lower one goes in promoting anti-social lifestyles, Black-on-Black violence, negative, and criminal behavior, the more notoriety and money earned. What do today’s hip-hop intellectuals (writers and creative artists) think? Is this what freedom looks like? What’s to be gained by publically insulting one another and downplaying our own self-worth? What will be the story of Black music in America 50 years from today, when Marvin Gaye’s iconic What’s Going On album turns 100?
Almost daily my office is bombarded with press releases from major record labels’ PR departments heralding the latest hits. I listen to the lyrics and witness videos that denigrate all Black people. See it for yourself, google the top-selling rap tracks and videos of 2021.
Save the Children
In the popular entertainment and media industries, young African Americans are being exploited and paraded before the whole world as a race without a past or a future – soulless. Today, we’re being perceived as a people with a laissez-faire attitude toward our children’s progress and our own cultural assets. In real time, young folks are being robbed of their innocence and the dignity of their humanity; generations are being led astray.
Unwittingly, tragically, we have all but surrendered our cultural sovereignty to “market forces” and the “enemies of progress.” We allow others to determine what’s best for us and our children—reminiscent of slavery times.
Collectively, we may be in danger of becoming the first generation since Emancipation to leave future generations with less—culturally and economically—than our predecessors. While African Americans continue to make huge strides politically, the state of Black music, the culture, and that of our underclass has become a planetary emergency; a quality of life and mental health issue; a spiritual, cultural, and economic crisis that must be addressed—NOW!
Is there anything we can do together to arrest and reverse this negative, unhealthy trend within our own lifetime?
I believe a most urgent matter is the lack of alternative media and cultural space for music, the arts, youth development, and ethics training; cultural literacy, education, moral grounding and social advancement. Defeat the negative with a positive! It’s the only way forward toward real victory and lasting success. Wisdom and experience will lead the way. Together let us begin to create new models for wholesome expression, intergenerational social engagement, and dialogue.
Now in its 21st year, The Positive Community quality brand is an alternative space in media, entertainment, and community service. Our family of products and services include the magazine; a website (https://thepositivecommunity.com); e-newsletter; social media; special events; the “African American Cultural Narrative poster”; the annual “Great American Emancipation Day Awards Banquet” (Jan.1, 2022); Positive Community Radio—“In Classic Black” (streaming music 24/7 online); a video production team; the Positive Music Hub (online); the 2021 Economic Justice Town Hall series; the Positive Music Matters Foundation; and the all-volunteer community health advocates, African Americans for Health Awareness (AAHA).
The Positive Community offers a “clean glass” to those who hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness. Our mission is to grow the business, create jobs, and prosper; to represent and project all of that which is great and good about Black life and culture in the USA. While we exist on a small, “shoestring and bubblegum” budget, we claim only that territory which is ours to claim; and we are not afraid of the giants!
We encourage thoughtful conversation and/or debate among faith leaders, intellectuals, and all forward thinkers. Collectively, we have a sacred obligation and a patriotic duty to preserve, protect, and promote our very best — America’s best! Know the past, but focus on the future; play the long game…and win!
Are you willing to advocate on behalf of a creative movement for positive change; can we encourage our corporate friends and businesses to support such a movement through advertising and sponsorship? Can we agree to a united effort to promote positive, community-building, life-affirming ideals: selfacceptance, self-reliance and self-respect? Ours is a most noble and righteous cause. Can we count on your support?
After all, each of us has been entrusted to ensure the survival and safe-passage of values from this generation to the next. Ultimately, the progress, prosperity, and freedom of future generations–our grandchildren’s grandchildren—descendants whom we will never know, depend upon the quality of our thinking—today!