The Black Coffee Channel Debuts With Week-Long "N-Word Athon". Marathon of Music And Sound Bites Devoted To Raising Consciousness About Controversial Racial Term And How To Uproot It.
Beginning today, Monday, April 9th, the brand new provocative Internet broadcasting channel, The Black Coffee Channel(http://blackcoffeechannel.com) presents its bold two week-long examination of the most controversial subject in Black America - the use of the N-Word, in culture, entertainment and private life. The Channel is the first to publicly compile and broadcast a significant playlist of over 200 songs that prominently feature the racial term in their titles. This playlist is combined with sobering audio bites representing different views on the controversy from political, cultural, economic and spiritual perspectives.
"While I applaud the sincere efforts of activists who are trying to limit the use of this loaded word, and while I respect the views of those who seek to rationalize its continued use, I do not believe that either approach is strong enough to uproot this word from our collective or individual vocabularies and psyches. The word, 'nigger' represents a pathology, legacy, industry and even, for some, a religion, and until all of us understand this, we will not be able to wipe the blood of this word off of our hands and minds. No effort to legislate its usage or reinterpret it will suceed in changing the socioeconomic conditions of the masses of Black people. Our Channel's two-week N-word marathon - which faces this word head-on - represents a new approach with that ultimate goal in mind," says Black Coffee Channel CEO, Cedric Muhammad.
"I want us to appreciate all of the creative, thoughtful and stimulating ways this word has been used by conscious artists, racists, and even buffoons. I hope that school teachers will sit down and listen to our N-Word Marathon with their students. The youth of America are already listening to these songs, anyway, but without an intelligent voice to guide them into understanding how this term seeped into the bloodstream of our society. That is why we make it clear at The Black Coffee Channel that the use of this word in music did not begin with Black rappers in the 1990s. The great ex-Beatle member John Lennon popularized the usage of this word, with his song, "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World," which is included in our N-Word Athon. This song was produced by the legendary Phil Spector and performed live in New York City, on August 30, 1972 at Madison Square Garden. Teachers should acknowledge and discuss the controversy over the use of this world by arguably the most influential White song writer of the the last century. I also hope that preachers who represent God in public but call their Brothers and Sisters 'nigger' in private will listen to what we present. The Bible says, in John 4: 20: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." I want radio station music program directors to listen to our playlist, and consider how they have contributed to the promotion of this term. I hope that Hollywood executives, producers, directors and actors will listen to these songs - many of which are on movie soundtracks -and recognize their hidden and not-so-hidden hand in establishing this word in our colective conscience. I want the Black comedians to reflect over their creative work and the tremendous contribution that they have made, perhaps as the greatest of all N-Word evangelists. I want the multi-national corporations that own puiblishing companies, record labels and recording studios to listen to the music and attempt to calculate how much the word 'nigger' has meant to their bottom lines. But maybe, most importantly, I want all of us, while we nod our heads, and dance to the incredibly hot music, to get more than our full share of this word, featured in track after track, understanding that perhaps, we have been and are being led like sheep, to a slaughterhouse of insensitivity," Mr. Muhammad stated.
"In conclusion, I hope that all of us who have been entertained by this word - particularly through music, will consider the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. According to Wikipedia: In 1284, the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation. One day, a man claiming to be a rat-catcher approached the villagers with a solution. They promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The man accepted and thus took a pipe and lured the rats with a song into the Weser river, where all of them drowned. Despite his success, the people reneged on their promise and refused to pay the rat-catcher. The man left the town angrily, but returned some time later, on June 26th, seeking revenge. While the inhabitants were in church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again. Depending on the version, at most two children remained behind, who informed the villagers what had happened when they came out of the church.Other versions (but not the traditional ones) claim that the Piper returned the children after the villagers paid several times the original amount of gold.
"I wonder, if, perhaps, the same thing as was done to the rats and children of Hamelin has been done to us," Cedric Muhammad wonders aloud. If so, "I hope that The Black Coffee Channe(http://blackcoffeechannel.com/), through this initiative, will at least play the role of the two children who informed the rest of the villagers of what happened."
The "N-Word Athon" includes a diverse medley of music, commentary and opinion from everyday Black Americans as well as artists, comedians, activists, and politicians ranging from Jay-Z to John Lennon to Chris Rock to Paul Mooney to The Watts Prophets, and of course, Michael Richards.
It is directly accessible at:
Program Note: None of the songs in The Black Coffee Channel's N Word Athon is edited to ensure a full confrontation with this word and the context in which it is used.
* Mr. Muhammad is available for interviews which can be arranged through: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 9, 2007