Black history month

Never Turn Down: Black History Month Playlist

Black History Month Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches

February is almost over, but feel free to carry this Black History Month Playlist into Melanin March and every other month in the year. I didn’t pick these songs because they’re about “being black”. Some of the jams celebrate blackness, some remind me of my family, friends, and childhood, while others remind me of the struggle. Instead of explaining why this playlist is so necessary to me, I’ll let Tina Lawson school ya.

“It’s such beauty in black people, and it really saddens me when we’re not allowed to express that pride in being black, and that if you do, then it’s considered anti-white. No! You just pro-black. And that’s okay. The two don’t go together. Because you celebrate black culture does not mean that you don’t like white culture or that you putting it down. It’s just taking pride in it, but what’s irritating is when somebody says, you know, “They’re racist!”, “That’s reverse racism!” or, “They have a Black History Month, but we don’t have a White History Month!”

Well, all we’ve ever been taught is white history. So, why are you mad at that? Why does that make you angry? That is to suppress me and to make me not be proud.”

-Interlude: Tina Taught Me (A Seat at the Table)

Let’s be honest, A Seat at the Table (Solange) and To Pimp A Butterfly (Kendrick Lamar) could’ve made up for half of this playlist, but that was too easy. Let me also point out that Beyoncé’s Lemonade isn’t on Spotify, along with a handful of other songs I wanted to add to this playlist — but I did my best! Enjoy and remember to never turn down!

Warning: I tried to find “clean” versions, but some songs may contain explicit language.

 

Black History Month Playlist

What songs would you add to the Black History Month Playlist? Leave a comment, and maybe I’ll add it!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Legends of…2016

Each year during Black History Month, the Auntie Karen Foundation hosts a concert and silent auction in Columbia, South Carolina. Legends of… is a tribute to the contributions African American musicians have made to history. “The series profiles a jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel or blues artist who has made a lasting contribution to the history of music.” (auntiekaren.org)

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Gordon the Jamaican Yam, Auntie Karen and Olivia the Octopus

Thanks to my Auntie Karen I, along with many other music lovers in Columbia, was able to see musical legends: Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Babyface and Ashford and Simpson (to name a few) perform live over the years. This year’s concert featured Al Jarreau with the South Carolina Philharmonic. Out of all the artists I’ve seen, Jarreau appeared to be the most passionate about the Auntie Karen Foundation and the importance of the arts.

“You must teach children to be sensitive, and the arts are a workshop in human sensitivity. Any programs of that sort, we need to be supportive. Karen and her organization understand what is so wonderful and so basic about the arts.” -Al Jarreau via Free Times

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Olivia and Al Jarreau Photo courtesy of Auntie Karen Foundation

The past 3 years I’ve been lucky enough to live tweet the Legends of…Concert & Silent Auction. In addition to falling in love with the open wine bar and yummy eats provided by local vendors, I’m also inspired by the guests’ energy level. They’re just so artsy! It’s great to see the community support the arts, as well as Black History Month. Not to mention how cool it feels to hear them say, “Oh wow! You’re Karen’s niece!”

Legends of 2016--The Palmetto Peaches

Auntie Karen and I at Legends of 2015

My Auntie Karen was the first person to take my writing seriously. When I was about 5-years-old, I wrote a series of poems about the meaning of life, freedom and Dr. King. My mom sent them to my aunt (who still has them), and it was history from there. She made sure every single person she knew, also knew I was a young poet. Thanks to her, I participated in any opportunity she stumbled upon. Opportunities like reading my poems (with my cousins and sister as interpretive dancers) at Spoleto events, played a big role in my School of the Arts acceptance…and y’all know how much I love my arts education!

When I read those poems now, I can’t help but laugh because they’re awful, but AK still had my back! Even though I’d love to have her attention all to myself, she shares the same enthusiasm with kids all over the world. Who uses Jamaican Yams to teach kids about sickle-cell anemia and diabetes? Who uses a jazz-singing octopus to give hugs to kids effected by natural disasters and deployment? Auntie Karen does! Her legendary acts in the community don’t go unnoticed, and I’m so proud of her and the Auntie Karen Foundation!

If you would like more information on how you can help Auntie educate, empower and enlighten through the arts, please visit www.auntiekaren.org!

acesiggy