Did you miss SONG founder Pat Hussain’s impressive historical musical run-down at Gaycation? You can check it out below!
DJ FluffE Playlist
DJ FluffE, spinning tunes from “back in the day” to 2014. Girl Scout lifer; moving in the movement, for the movement, with sultry SONG love; and shakin’ what my Momma gave me. Mixing 411 Information & F-U-N Fun.
December 1, 1955. Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. The boycott officially ended 381 days later on December 20, 1956. Singing has always been woven into the struggle for justice. Churches were one of the few places Black people could gather with relative safety to commiserate and celebrate; strategize and harmonize.
The SNCC Freedom Singers with Betty Mae Fikes sang this tune:
If You Miss Me From The Back of The Bus
In the Fall of ’63, Sam Cooke had booked a room at a Holiday Inn in Shreveport, LA. Upon his arrival he was turned away from the whites only establishment. When he refused to walk away, he was arrested and jailed with several of his group. This song was written within 2 months of that incident, and became a civil rights anthem.
A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
This song started out as a dance single. Black demonstrators in an inner city uprising called it a civil rights anthem. Some among the media and others said it was, “a call to riot.” What do you think?
Dancing In the Streets by Martha and the Vandellas
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, part of which was intended to create fair housing.
The NAACP, SNCC and the Panther Party were in an uproar over this song by the “Godfather of Soul.” Perhaps the leadership was, but not the membership. Many less revolutionary people were horrified. But it was embraced by a wave of afro wearing youths in dashikis, pumping their fist.
Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown
Student protests demanding Black and/or Puerto Rican Studies or Departments rippled across the country:
After 3 days of clashes with police, Duke Univ establishes a Black Studies Program. Students seized the Student Union Building at Cornell Univ. The administration acceded to an Afro-American Studies Program. Brandeis Univ., under student pressure, created an Afro-American Department.
City College of New York created Afro-American and Puerto Rican Studies after a 2 week campus takeover by students.
There were uprisings in Hartford, CT and Camden, NJ.
The Congressional Black Caucus was formed.
The Supreme Court tossed out desegregation efforts characterized as happening with “all deliberate speed,” and ordered immediate desegregation.
James Brown spoke for to the nation about equality with this song.
I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing[Open Up the Door I’ll Get It Myself] by James Brown
Voting Rights Act 1971 ended literacy tests. The Voting Rights Act 1965 was amended 5 times in attempts to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Constitutional Amendments guarantee of voting rights. We are still on that journey.
Black Thursday, Univ. of FL-April 15th:
Black students protested the school’s student body composition; 20,000 white, 343 Black, by taking over the President’s office. The police arrested 66 students. After the administration refused amnesty, over 100 students left the school along with some faculty members and staff.
This song spoke truth to power over the airwaves.
(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People by Chi-Lites
The nation’s Trans-Formation continues after Stonewall with Sylvester,”Queen of Disco.” Raised Pentecostal and known for his flamboyant persona, he rejected descriptions of him as a drag queen.
Before the 1963 March on Washington and the Stonewall Rebellion, he was a Founder of Disquotays in 1962- a group of Black cross dressers and Trans women which disbanded in 1970.
“Dooni [Sylvester] and the Disquotays wandered the streets of South Central in the 1960s done up like women, and threw ferocious gay parties in neighborhoods whose strongest institutions were conservative black churches. It’s tempting to see them as fearless and heroic, defiant sissies who were forerunners of Stonewall and sixties counterculture, part of the dawning of gay liberation and African-American civil rights organizing.”
— Sylvester’s biographer Joshua Gamson
Sylvester made us feel it as the mirrored ball turned.
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester
Writers for Diana Ross and the Supremes were looking for ideas or inspiration for new songs. The idea for this song was sparked in one writer after seeing 3 drag queens impersonating Diana Ross one night, at the same club.
I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross and The Supremes
RuPaul’s first prominent national exposure began with an extra role dancing in this song’s video, and we all danced along.
Love Shack by The B-52’s
Kool Moe Dee was a master of a burgeoning art form known as Rapidly Articulated Poetry, or RAP. He was the first rapper to perform at the Grammys and I of the first to receive one. This song resonates with me and the work we do advancing toward justice
One of my favorite parts for inspiration:
“Cause I’m coming
With an endless amount
Of words in a hurry
Like a flurry
A collage to camouflage
The power punch but don’t worry
Knowledge is an antidote
I got hand of smoke
Writing at the speed of light with insight”
I Go to Work by Kool Moe Dee
This song was the result of a collaboration between Santana and Matchbox Twenty. It reminds me our lives, this movement, is also about hitting the pause button and taking time for love. So hit the dance-floor for some F-U-N and then you’ll really need to cool off.
Smooth by Carlos Santana
Kirsty MacColl released this tune on her last album. We walk a lot on our journey to justice. And our footwear includes sneakers, sandals, loafers, and boots. Should our choices be focused on fashion,comfort or heel height? Give this a listen and consider the options, for we have far to go.
In These Shoes by Kirsty MacColl sung by Bette Middler
Moderation, music, dancing and good food will help get us through the struggle. It is a balancing act, often acrobatic. I want to leave you with this tune that speaks to holding your head up, and being careful where you place your feet.
Tightrope by Janelle Monáe