Saturday Open Thread |Unrequited Love Songs| Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt 1I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a song written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt for her eleventh studio album Luck of the Draw (1991). Released as the album’s third single in 1991, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” became one of Raitt’s most successful singles, reaching the top-twenty on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top-ten on the Adult Contemporary.

In August 2000, Mojo magazine voted “I Can’t Make You Love Me” the eighth best track on its The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list.[1] The song is ranked at number 339 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2] “I Can’t Make You Love Me” has been recorded by a number of other artists, including George Michael, Adele, Boyz II Men, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Nancy Wilson, Nina Girado, Priyanka Chopra and many others. It has also become a popular selection for televised contestants in singing competitions such as American Idol, Canadian Idol, The Voice, The X Factor and others.

Posted in Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Friday Open Thread |Unrequited Love Songs| Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye ++It seems like everyone in Motown heard about this song “through the grapevine” before it was finally recorded. The classic about a man who finds out his woman is cheating on him was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. Strong came up with the idea and asked Motown writers Holland-Dozier-Holland to work on it with him. They refused to credit another writer, so Strong took it to Whitfield, who helped put it together. The song eventually became a Motown classic, but it had a rough start, as executives at the company thought it was too bluesy and lacked hit potential. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles were the first to record the song, but their version wasn’t released until years later on an album called Special Occasion. The Isley Brothers then took a crack at it, but their version wasn’t released. Whitfield and Strong then had Marvin Gaye record the song but still no luck: Motown head Berry Gordy chose Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “Your Unchanging Love” over “Grapevine” as his next single. Finally, a new Motown act Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded the song as a gospel rocker. Their version was a hit, entering the Top 40 in November 1967 and going to #2 in America.

Marvin Gaye’s version was included on his 1968 album In The Groove (later re-titled I Heard It Through The Grapevine). After E. Rodney Jones, the Chicago disc jockey at WVON, started playing it on the air, Berry Gordy reconsidered and released Gaye’s version as a single, which became even more popular and known as the definitive version of the song. Gaye’s “Grapevine” pounded the charts about a year after Knight’s, going to #1 in America on December 14, 1968.

By 1966, Barrett Strong, the singer on Motown Records’ breakthrough hit, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, had the basics of a song he had started to write in Chicago, where the idea had come to him while walking down Michigan Avenue that people were always saying “I heard it through the grapevine”. The phrase is associated with black slaves during the Civil War, who had their form of telegraph: the human grapevine. Producer Norman Whitfield worked with Strong on the song, adding lyrics to Strong’s basic Ray Charles influenced gospel tune and the single chorus line of “I heard it through the grapevine”. This was to be the first of a number of successful collaborations between Strong and Whitfield.

The lyrics tell the story in a first person narrative of the betrayal of the singer’s romantic partner, how he heard about it indirectly via gossip from other people (through the “grapevine”), and the emotional pain and disbelief he is suffering

Posted in Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 41 Comments

#Ferguson police chief issues an apology

tom jackson(CNN) — Ferguson Missouri, Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized Thursday to the parents of Michael Brown, as well as to any peaceful protesters who feel he didn’t do “enough to protect their constitutional right to protest.”

Specifically, he apologized that it took investigating officers four hours to remove Brown’s body from the street after Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot him last month.

“I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” he said during his video statement.

Investigators were doing “important work” trying to uncover the truth and collect evidence during those four hours, Jackson said, but “it was just too long, and I’m truly sorry for that.”

Keep your apology, Tom Jackson. It’s much too late for THAT. Too much damage has been done. The entire Ferguson police department needs to be dismantled from the top to the bottom.

Posted in Current Events, Gun Violence, Hate Crime, Institutional Racism, Justice, Justice for Michael Brown, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Racial Profiling, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Thursday Open Thread |Unrequited Love Songs| Ray Charles

Ray CharlesThis beautiful song performed by one of the greatest Soul legends, Ray Charles. He sings to the girl he’s in love with all those words he doesn’t have the courage to tell her in person, hoping that some day she will love him, too.

Posted in Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 59 Comments

DOJ will host meeting in #Ferguson on civil rights investigation

Department of JusticeFERGUSON • The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will host a meeting Wednesday evening as part of its investigation of the Ferguson Police Department.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the student center at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Campus, 3400 Pershall Road.

Members of the Department of Justice will give information about its investigation of the police department and allegations that its officers use excessive force. The federal investigators can speak privately to individuals who would like to tell about their experiences with the Ferguson police.

The meeting is open to all members of the public.

If you cannot be at this meeting, you may contact investigators at or 1-855-856-2132.

Posted in Civil Rights, Current Events, discrimination, Institutional Racism, Justice, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Wednesday Open Thread |Unrequited Love Songs|Alicia Keys

Alicia KeysFallin’” is a song by American recording artist Alicia Keys. It served as Keys’ debut single from her debut album, Songs in A Minor (2001). Written and produced by Keys, it was released by J Records to radio and music video outlets in 2001. The song is generally considered her signature song.[1]

The song attained global success, reaching number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100, and reached the top five in several countries. It also received numerous certifications around the world, and is one of the best-selling singles of 2001. In 2009, the single was named the 29th most successful song of the 2000s, on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.[2] Rolling Stone ranked it number sixty-two on their Top 100 Songs of the 2000s decade.[3] “Fallin'” charted at 413 in Blender magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born.[4] It won three Grammy Awards in 2002, including Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and was also nominated for Record of the Year.

Posted in Current Events, Music, News, Open Thread, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 56 Comments

Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls” 40th Anniversary Exhibition

I don’t believe any black girl can graduate to womanhood without knowing about, seeing, and understanding Ms. Ntozake Shange’s Choreopoem “For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf.”


Ntozake Sahnge- Poet, author, and playwright Paulette Williams was born in Trenton, New Jersey on October 18, 1948. Her parents, Paul and Eloise Williams, and their four children , the eldest being Paulette, were an upper-middle class family. Paul Williams was an Air Force surgeon and his wife worked as an educator and a psychiatric social worker. As an artistic and cultured family, the Williams’ enjoyed visits from friends such as Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Josephine Baker, and W. E. B. Dubois.

Although the family maintained a richly intellectual home environment, the Brown vs. Board of Education decision created a racially segregated school system for the children. When she moved to St. Louis with her family in 1956, Paulette Williams, eight years old, attended a German-American school where, despite the integrated school system, she encountered racism.

For five years, she lived in St. Louis and absorbed the city’s diverse art, music, dance, literature, and opera. She returned to New Jersey in 1961 to complete high school. A year after entering Barnard College at age eighteen, Williams survived a trail of personal battles after separating from her husband, a law student. Her depression affected her so deeply that many attempts at suicide followed the relationship’s failure. Despite her drinking chemicals, slashed wrists, Valium overdose, and, ultimately, driving her Volvo into the Pacific Ocean, Williams graduated cum laude with a B.A. in American Studies from Barnard in 1970 and in 1971, took a name to reflect her power to achieve. Translated into English from Xhosa, the Zulu language, Ntozake Shange means “she who comes with her own things and walks like a lion.”

She received her master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1973. While living in California, Shange studied Afrikan- American Dance and performed with the following dance companies: Third World Collective, Raymond Sawyer’s Afrikan- American Dance Company, Sounds in Motion, and West Coast Dance Works. Shange also had her own company named For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide.

She taught humanities, women’s studies, and Afro- American studies in California at Sonoma State College, Mills College in Oakland, and the University of California Extension. Shange’s interaction with other artists and teachers in the San Francisco area led to her collaboration with Paula Moss on for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf. The play’s success in its early stages enabled Shange and Moss to perform “for colored girls…” in New York and on television. “for colored girls…” was nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Grammy awards in 1977.


For Colored Girls “Dark Phrases” [Pt. 1 of 19]

I found God in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls


On September 19, 2014, the Schomburg Library will begin an exhibition celebrating the 4oth anniversary of “For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”  The exhibit will run through January 3, 2015



Ntozake Shange’s Choreopoem: Reinventing a Heritage of Poetry and Dance   



Original Cast
Trazana Beverley Lady in Red
Laurie Carlos Lady in Blue
Risë Collins Lady in Purple
Aku Kadogo Lady in Yellow
Janet League Lady in Brown
Paula Moss Lady in Green
Ntozake Shange Lady in Orange


Posted in Arts, Black History, Celebrations, Dance, Employment News, Empowerment, Inspiration, Tribute | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments