I was talking to one of my students, who was a first grader at the time at Cumberland Elementary in North Nashville, aka Dodge City! Her name is Teanna, who lives with her grandmother and longs for her mother whom she rarely sees. She called her self ugly out loud and would say it over and over again. I told her that she is a beautiful, intelligent princess. She declined that affirmation. She wasn’t in love with her skin complexion, her hair, or anything about herself. Working in the public school school system, I’ve encountered many youth who have extreme self hate. I’m extremely driven to find a solution to her apparent self hate, and lack of self worth as well as other youth in the school systems and communities.
This stemmed my motivation behind the song “My Black is Beautiful”. In the Nashville community, and throughout the world we need a facelift, a melinated renovation so to speak, where models of beauty are showcased in variety. All Women, women of color especially are harshly scrutinized for there skin, sizes, hair and much more way to often. It’s embedded in us socially and emotionally and we have to make strides to put an end to this cycle of internal negativity. We are not depicted in magazines, television and many other public media outlets as ideal visions or representations of beauty. It’s affecting our girl’s self image so intensely that they limit their potential and pursuit of all possibilities for success.
In honor of black history month I plan to produce a community video March 5th with music director Anna Haas and other prominent cinematographers in the Nashville entertainment world to make an artistic cultural statement that promotes self love and body positivity. This will serve as my first single to my series of what I call Mantra Music, that is powerful words that are spoken or sung consistently or chanted that can eventually be internalized spiritually.
Mantra Music infuses there spirits in efforts to uplift the consciousness of the girls as well as all people to be mindful and open by conjuring deep meditation of positive thoughts and outlooks that will inner joy. These vibrations can be sent across the world manifesting inner peace, love and global acceptance. All humans need a since of belonging, love, community, nurturing, and a voice. Positive self image, Self value and self worth are necessities to happiness and success. I need the conscious communities help of caring people, financial leaders of Nashville and local organizations to give to our local artist, our budding youth and for us to connect in solidarity to make an impact and bring awareness to the lack of complex representations of beauty in order to deliver this vision forth. I believe the children are our future and they desperately need positive reinforcement and need to know who they are and where they come from. There are no statues of women or black people in our cities or places like music row.
Our people built America for free and there are a limited amounts of statutes in our honor. In the Nashville scene, the majority of the covers are consistently white country artist and no covers of the prominent Black R&B soul artist of Nashville. When there are benefit concerts in Nashville , there’s only one black person singing at the Ryman Auditorium for example the Bob Dylan Concert! Music City has its title because of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, because the “souls of black folks” thus they should have a Statue in the middle of music row of them! This is a call for awareness and action!
As a local artist in Nashville it’s my responsibility to reflect the times, I learned that from studying the works and the artistry of the legendary music mogul, Nina Simone. We must encourage all of our girls and our boys even our women and our men to promote, express, and internalize out loud that “my black is beautiful.” Right now we are in this color conscious society and this effort will usher in a future of multicultural acceptance . Because you believe in this cause support by donating $5 $10 $20 $50 $100 or more to “My Black is Beautiful” community Video shoot!!!!
Help spread the word!