Saving Our Own Community:

Music Appreciation, Cultural Literacy and Positive Change

I recently watched a program on PBS about American music legend and pioneering force behind the sounds of rock & roll, Little Richard. It was absolutely one of the best documentaries about the life and times of the African American artist rising up from the segregated, Jim Crow South in the 40s and 50s to create a world-class sound that impacted the world and inspired the British (music) Invasion of the 60s and 70s.

Rock music icons Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Ringo Starr of the Beatles attribute their long, successful careers to the genius of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and many others. It is affirmation of the potency of the African American music experience of the mid 20th century USA.

Character flaws notwithstanding, Little Richard remained rooted in the Black Church tradition. At the very peak of his fame, he abandoned the music business, enrolled in a Bible college, and became a travelling evangelical preacher.

Positive Music Matters

Do you realize the depth and scope of our people’s enormous contribution to this nation’s rich music legacy; our collective claim on the American Dream? What do we tell our children about their inherent, cultural assets; and where do we begin to advance the positive, community- building ideals of self-acceptance, self-reliance, and self-respect; origins, history and destiny?

Let us focus on the fundamentals of music and song beginning with intelligent analysis and critique. Below are three questions for individual thought or group discussion:

1—what is a song; what does a singer do?

2—what is music; what does a musician do?

3— what are the roles of harmony and melody in music or a song?

Music and art are among our greatest group or collective assets; a most precious gift to be jealously guarded— preserved, protected and promoted—for the edification and prosperity of present and future generations. Cultural literacy complements music appreciation. The “Cultural Narrative” is cultural literacy. Share our story with the world! Teach the children appreciation and gratitude; inspire within their souls a real hunger for truth, and an unquenchable thirst for righteousness!

Good music is essential to individual and community progress—positive change. There is no going forward if the music isn’t. There’s no advancement without a positive, life-affirming music soundtrack. We will always need love-music; for the love of self, of family, community, nation, race and all mankind. And most of all, the love of our heavenly Father!

For Music Lovers Only

In late 2020 during the height of the pandemic, we launched a 24/7 music streaming service—The Positive Community Radio (TPC Radio)—with a promise to showcase America’s best: “In Classic Black.” We invite all to come home to a music environment that does not insult your intelligence. TPC Radio is formatted to appeal to the soul and uplift the spirit!

Harmony, melody, and rhythm live on at TPC Radio. Songs of love, freedom, hope, consciousness, peace, faith, and goodwill; happiness and wholesome fun are to be found on TPC Radio: for music lovers only! We love our people and celebrate the integrity and dignity of our African American culture, values, and proud traditions.

We are especially pleased to feature as this month’s cover story, R&B legend, musician, and bandleader Robert “Kool” Bell and his two sons, Muhammad and Prince Hakim of the Kool Kids Foundation. They have pledged to supply musical equipment for schools, faith institutions and community organizations that touch the lives of young people! Yes, in spirit and in truth: Positive Music Matters!

If you like The Positive Community magazine, or visit our digital and social media platforms, comprehend the “Cultural Narrative,” and attend our special events, then you’ll love our 24/7 music streaming service—TPC Radio! And yes, the music of Little Richard is included in a TPC power playlist!

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