Star Jones

Star Jones
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TELL IT LIKE IT IS: Exercising Freedom

Yesterday I was back in talk show "host" mode when I conducted a special Q&A session with Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network's annual convention in New York.  

We talked all things political, legal and social; and as usual Rev. Al did not disappoint.  With the President and First Lady representing this country across the world this week on their first international trip as the First Family, one of the things we discussed was how African-Americans in the entertainment business; specifically our hip hop and urban community, really need to evaluate whether they are part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to images in America and throughout the world.  

Rev. Al made the point that during the inauguration, although it is clear that the hip hop community played a MAJOR role in motivating young African-Americans to become a part of the political process...they were relegated to playing a minor to no role during the actual official inauguration festivities.  We read about all the parties and events, but  because of the language and cultural references in some of the lyrics to popular songs the official programs didn't feature as many of the talented artists that because of their record sales and influence; should have been "in the house."   Makes sense to me.  It's not like you can get up on the stage at the Lincoln Memorial and start singing about...well, you know...  And more importantly, I, would venture to guess we in the African-American community didn't want them getting up on that stage singing about...well, you know...

I'm not a fuddy duddy and I love hip hop and all things urban. I've also heard the arguments from hip hop artists that they are singing about things relevant to a significant portion of the African-American community; and they are absolutely correct.  Further, we all agree that everyone gets the "freedom of speech" our Constitution it is a valid argument to say "I can say what I want and sing what I want."

But peep this for a moment:   On what the learned scholar, the late John Hope Franklin termed "one of the most historic moments, if not the most historic moment, in the history of this country;'' you, Mr. (or Ms.) Big Time Superstar Hip Hop Artist (who mind you worked your butt off organizing, blogging, raising money, etc. showing great sacrifice and great dedication), couldn't showcase the amazing talent God has blessed you with by joining in this celebration of the inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States in an official capacity due to the manner in which you choose to express those "freedoms." Why, because it would embarrass your President, your momma and yourself...

If upon reflection you agree that appealing to the HIGHEST common denominator, rather than the LOWEST gives you and us the access and influence that at this point and time in our history we should be enjoying; then you have to decide what is relevant and what isn't. 

Hip Hop is the voice of the streets and its appeal has reached a global audience. So the question on the table is when will the artists of hip hop allow themselves to reflect the hope, optimism, power and 'yes we can' spirit of Black America instead of the same old tired stereotypes that exclude us from such momentous milestones?

Don't be mad, just asking. Just telling it like it is...


  1. Tell it Ms. Star....Tell It! The MAJOR role the Hip-Hop community made motivating is to be acknowledged. However, I am disappointed in the effort very few if ANY was made at all? By Black activist, Hip-Hop artist, Black Faith-Based groups, Black political groups or the like. Was any concerted effort ever made to TEACH about what Blacks were really voting on? In my, travels across the U.S. this last year, I was mortified to learn that so few Black Americans Old, Young, Rich, Poor, "Educated" or not, are totally uneducated on the American political system!.In the past, education was not an option. Books and libraries were for the privileged. So, for the ones before us I can only say," You can't teach.. what You don't know!" But, what about Today? L-A-Z-Y! Most of this Generation walking around today. want everything and what is their part? Nothing! Excuses will get you nowhere in a hurry! We still have the highest drop out rates, teen pregnancy, juvenile offenders and Prison! How much SUCCESS have we attained? We were Wealthier after slavery than we are now! Owned more land and Business'! Had more Blacks in Congress and the Senate! We got this way simply, by not keeping GOD 1st. Also, by having "False Pride." When you know it all or know everything? You don't know nothing!! Too many of US 'Blacks', don't want correction and don't want to hear it! Now, as far as Freedom of Speech.....The Bible gives the best example. But, remember this, You can pull out a knife change your mind and put it back in it's sheath. You can pull out a gun again, change your mind and put it back in it's holster. But, you can never, ever, take back WORDS that you say or have said!. These are examples of how these "Artist" lost all Class, Status, Power, Prestige, Aristocracy and Viability, just by what they said! "A Good Reputation is better than Money!" No one wants to be around "Trashy People" with filthy mouths and minds. The Whole World has the same problems...Food, Shelter, Healthcare, Raising Children, Death & Taxes. GOD gives everyone 1,440 minutes a day. Now, we are each accountable for how we cherish & manage it! Please! Stop! No more, "I am rapping about my life." Go see a therapist! In reality Humans thrive to get away on vacation, a yacht, a massage, You know all of the finer luxuries in life. Don't get me wrong I like some Hip-Hop too. But, we need to know better & be Better! Okay.... Ms.Star...I love You and GOD does too you stay 7-star GOD Bless!

  2. I am just glad to see that ALL Americans realize that this is indeed a new day and that we must showcase our best and brightest. I am also glad to see that even on television, we are really putting an emphasis on character instead of negative and stereotypical characterizations. Case in point--on CNN, one show with a black male comic was cancelled while another black male was given the opportunity to step up from a guest commentator to a nighly fixture and co-host. In my opinion, this shows positive change. People are looking for substance and dignity and color is as welcome as the Obamas. THANK YOU MICHELLE AND BARACK FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE AND FOR ALLOWING ALL OF US TO COME ON UP A LITTLE HIGHER WITH RESPECT.


Your comments are welcome as long as they are in keeping with the spirit of this blog. They must be positive about your life, your community, our nation or our world. They must elevate...not denigrate...and if you criticize me or my position...state your name and email address so I know who you are and can address you directly. My rules. Star