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Public Enemy - Classic Hip Hop Legends
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: public enemy classic hip hop legends word life production new qualtiy entertainment featured blog

In the late Eighties, Public Enemy introduced a hard, intense, hip-hop sound that changed the sound of hip-hop. PE's inventive production team, the Bomb Squad, tailored a unique, noisy, layered avant-garde-inspired sound that incorporated sirens, skittering turntable scratches, and cleverly juxtaposed musical and spoken samples. The group features two vocalists with wildly different styles: Lead rapper Chuck D, who delivers anti-establishment rhymes in a booming, authoritarian voice, and his sidekick/jester, Flavor Flav, who broke in with taunts, teases, and questions.

The members of Public Enemy came together at Adelphi University on Long Island, where Carlton Ridenhour studied graphic design and worked at student radio station WBAU. There he met Hank Shocklee (future brainchild of the Bomb Squad) and Bill Stephney (future Def Jam executive), and the trio became fast friends, talking philosophy, politics, and hip-hop late into the night. After rapping over a track Shocklee had created, "Public Enemy No. 1," Ridenhour started appearing regularly on Stephney's radio show as Chuckie D. Def Jam cofounder Rick Rubin heard a tape of the rap and started calling Ridenhour.

At first the rapper shunned Rubin, feeling he was too old to begin a career as an entertainer. But he eventually came up with an elaborate plan that involved Shocklee as producer, Stephney as marketer, and DJ Norman Rogers on the turntables. He recruited his Nation of Islam cohort Richard Griffin to, as Professor Griff, coordinate the group's backup dancers, the Security of the First World (S1W), whose members carried fake Uzis and did stiff, martial-arts moves as a parody of Motown-era dancers. Ridenhour enlisted old friend William Drayton, who, as Flavor Flav, would act as a foil to Chuck D's more sober character.

Calling themselves "prophets of rage," Public Enemy released their debut album, Yo!, Bum Rush the Show, in 1987. A more sophisticated version of early East Coast gangsta rappers like Boogie Down Productions or Schoolly D, the group at first went nearly unnoticed except by hip-hop insiders and New York critics. The second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, took the pop world by storm. Reaching Number 42 (Number 1 R&B, 1988), it was immediately hailed as hip-hop's masterpiece and eventually sold a million copies. Nation contained the minor hit "Bring the Noise" (Number 56 R&B, 1988), which foreshadowed Public Enemy's knack for controversy, with Chuck D calling Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan a prophet. Having referred to rap as "CNN for black culture," he castigates white-controlled media in "Don't Believe the Hype" (Number 18 R&B, 1988).

In May 1989, just after the group released "Fight the Power" (Number 20 R&B, 1989), the theme song for Spike Lee's film Do the Right Thing, Professor Griff, who had previously made racist comments onstage, dropped a verbal bomb. In an interview with the Washington Times, he said Jews are responsible for "the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe." Public Enemy leader Chuck D responded indecisively, first firing Griff, then reinstating him, then temporarily disbanding the group. When Griff then attacked his band mates in another interview, he was dismissed permanently. Chuck D responded to the fiasco by writing "Welcome to the Terrordome" (Number 15 R&B, 1990), a ferociously noisy track in which the rapper asserts, "they got me like Jesus." That lyric fanned the coals of controversy yet again, with Chuck D himself being branded an anti-Semite.

Public Enemy followed with its first Top 10 album, Fear of a Black Planet (Number 10 pop, Number Three R&B, 1990), which explored the nature of white racism in songs like "Burn Hollywood Burn" and "911 Is a Joke" (Number 15 R&B, 1990), and called on African-Americans to unite in "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" (Number 20 R&B, 1990) and "War at 33 1/3." By the end of 1990, DJ Terminator X had left for a solo career, followed by the exits of Bomb Squad members Shocklee and Stephney.

But Public Enemy's momentum only accelerated. Upon its release in 1991, Apocalypse 91 shot to Number Four (Number One R&B), spawning the hits "Can't Truss It" (Number 50 pop, Number 9 R&B, 1991) and "Shut Em Down" (Number 26 R&B, 1992). Greatest Misses reached Number 13 (Number 10 R&B) in 1992 and was criticized for its unexciting remixes. The same year, Public Enemy teamed up with thrash-metal band Anthrax for a successful update of "Bring the Noise" and a joint tour. They also opened for U2's Zoo TV Tour.

Public Enemy returned in 1994 with Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age, which included lyrics critical of the fast-rising gangsta-rap genre and its frequent glorification of violence, drugs, and money. But, like those of other older rap artists, the album debuted fairly high on the chart only to quickly fall in sales (Number 14 pop, Number 4 R&B, 1994).

Beginning in 1991, Flavor Flav had some run-ins with the law. That year, he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and served a 20-day jail sentence. In 1993, he was charged with attempted murder when he allegedly shot at a neighbor in a domestic squabble; he chose to undergo drug rehabilitation, and the charges were dropped.

By 1996, Chuck D founded the Sony-supported Slam Jamz rap label, created the Rapp Style clothing company, and released his first solo album, The Autobiography of Mistachuck. The following year he published a book, Fight the Power: Rap, Race and Reality, and soon reconvened the original lineup of Public Enemy to record the soundtrack album to Lee's 1998 film He Got Game. The project brought the group renewed visibility: The album reached Number 26 (Number 10 R&B), while the title track hit Number 78 on the R&B singles chart and won regular rotation on MTV. Chuck D closed the '90s as a typically outspoken champion of Internet distribution of music, even making Public Enemy's 1999 album There's a Poison Goin' On available first as a low-cost download.

During the 2000s, PE members stayed visible, with Chuck D lecturing on the college circuit and hosting a talk radio show and Flava Flav becoming a reality TV superstar with Flavor of Love. The group found time to put out four studio albums; none sold well but each was strong in its own way — especially Rebirth of a Nation, a collaboration with producer-rapper Paris, whose hammering beats sound straight out of 1990, and How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?, which featured a heavier, more expansive sound.

Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Evan Serpick contributed to this article.

Source: Rolling Stone

Check out New Edition in our Music Hall of Fame Tags: new edition music hall fame word life production new qualtiy entertainment feature blog

New Edition is an R&B and pop group formed in Boston in 1978. The group reached its height of popularity during the 1980s. They were the progenitors of the boy band movement of the 1980s and 1990s and led the way for groups like New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. The group recorded mostly as a quintet.

During the group's first bout of fame in 1983, its members were Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant. Early hits included "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man". Brown left in late 1985 to embark on a solo career. The group continued for a time with its remaining four members, but eventually recruited singer Johnny Gill, who would be introduced on their 1988 album Heart Break. The group went on hiatus in 1990, while its various members worked on side projects, such as the group Bell Biv Devoe. Gill and Tresvant also recorded successful solo albums.

All six members of New Edition reunited in 1996 to record the group's sixth studio album Home Again. During the ill-fated Home Again Tour, both Bobby Brown and Michael Bivins eventually quit the group, forcing the remainder of the tour to be canceled. Various reunions have occurred since, usually with the 1987-1990 lineup, though occasionally also including Brown. Their last studio album was 2004's One Love. As of 2010, two New Edition descendants were recording and touring: Bell Biv Devoe and Heads of State (which features Brown, Tresvant and Gill.)

On May 3, 2011 New Edition issued a press release on their official website announcing that all six members were reuniting as New Edition to kick off the 30th anniversary celebration of "Candy Girl" with their fans.

Formation

The group was formed in 1978 by childhood friends Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Travis Pettus and Corey Rackley, all of whom were living in the Orchard Park housing projects in Boston. They later met Brooke Payne, a local manager and choreographer, who encountered the boys at a local talent show in Roxbury. After an audition for Payne, he gave them the name New Edition to signify they were a new edition of the Jackson 5. Rackley left the group and was replaced by another neighborhood friend Ralph Tresvant, who both Bell and Brown were already acquainted with and sang with Ricky in a group called Ricky & Ralph. Travis Pettus eventually would leave the group as well. Later, Payne brought in his nephew Ronnie DeVoe to replace Pettus as the group's fifth member.

1983-1985: Beginnings

The group scored its big break in 1982, performing at the local Hollywood Talent Night held at Boston's Strand Theatre by singer/producer Maurice Starr. The first prize was $500.00 and a recording contract. Though the group came in second place, an impressed Starr decided to bring the group to his studio the following day to record what would become their debut album, Candy Girl. Released in 1983 on Starr’s Streetwise Records, the album featured the hits: "Is This The End," "Popcorn Love," "Jealous Girl" and the title track, which went to number one on both the American R&B singles chart and the UK singles chart.

 

Returning from their first major concert tour, the boys were dropped off back at their homes in the projects and were given a check in the amount of $1.87 apiece for their efforts. Tour budget and expenses were given as the explanation as to why they were not paid more. Due to these financial reasons, New Edition parted company with Starr in 1984 (Starr responded by promptly creating the group New Kids on the Block; essentially formatted after New Edition, but with white teenagers.) The group, meanwhile, hired the law firm of Steven and Martin Machat and sued Streetwise for relief from a contract that was unenforceable as well as materially breached by Streetwise. The Machats won the legal game and then secured the group a bigger recording deal with major label MCA Records, which won the bidding war amongst various other major labels who were also interested in signing the group. In need of management, the group signed with Steven Machat and his two management partners Rick Smith and Bill Dern. The management company, AMI, proceeded to escalate the group's profile in both the urban and pop music worlds. Through the production affiliate of AMI, Jump and Shoot, MCA released the group's self-titled second album the same year. Eclipsing their debut album, New Edition spun off the top five hit "Cool It Now" and the top twenty "Mr. Telephone Man," and went on to be certified double platinum in the United States.

While promoting their second album, the group was dismayed to realize that they weren't actually signed to MCA Records, but instead with the production company Jump and Shoot, which had its own deal with MCA; subsequently, all business matters pertaining to the group were controlled by the former. To buy themselves out of the stifling production deal, each of the five members borrowed one hundred thousand dollars from MCA. Though this effectively separated the group from Jump and Shoot, and allowed them to sign a new (and very long-term) contract to record for MCA directly, they were now in mortgage to the label. As a result, the group would now be forced to continually record and tour during this period in order to pay off its debt.

New Edition's third album, All for Love, was released in the latter half of 1985. While not duplicating the success of its predecessor, the album was certified platinum, and spawned the hits: "Count Me Out", "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)" and "With You All the Way". The growing popularity of the group led to a guest appearance (as themselves) in the 1985 film Krush Groove, performing "My Secret". Toward the year's end, Christmas All Over The World, a holiday EP, was released as well as an oldies album of tunes from the '50s sung by the group with an '80s production style.

1986: The departure of Bobby Brown

 

Under pressure from MCA and their management, the group voted Bobby Brown out in December 1985, due to behavioral problems. Brown embarked on a solo career in 1986, while New Edition continued to promote All for Love as a quartet. In spite of their financial and internal conflicts, New Edition continued to peak. During this era of the group's evolution, the group appeared in the episode of Knight Rider titled "Knight Song", performing "Count Me Out." As 1986 wound to a close, they recorded a cover of The Penguins 1954 hit "Earth Angel" for the soundtrack to The Karate Kid, Part II. The song peaked at number twenty-one and inspired the group to record Under the Blue Moon, an album of doo-wop covers.

1987-1989: The introduction of Johnny Gill

After having already lost a member when Bobby Brown was terminated from the group, New Edition's future became uncertain when murmurings began to surface that lead singer Ralph Tresvant was eyeing a solo career as well. To pad his potential departure, singer Johnny Gill was voted into the group by Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ron DeVoe in 1987, despite Tresvant ultimately deciding to remain in place. A native of Washington, D.C., Johnny Gill is the only non-Boston native among the group's six members. According to IMDB:

    "Ralph (who was working on a solo album at the time) felt uneasy with Johnny taking Bobby Brown's place. After Ralph and Johnny laid some vocals, the two became very close friends and have been that way ever since."

New Edition's fifth studio release, Heart Break— which also featured Gill as the co-lead vocalist — was released in the summer of 1988. Primarily produced by the production team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the album was a departure from the group's previous bubblegum sound, and instead took on a smoother, stronger, and more adult resonance. Spinning off five hit singles: "If It Isn't Love," "You're Not My Kind of Girl," "Can You Stand The Rain," "Crucial" and "N.E. Heartbreak"; Heart Break became New Edition's most commercially successful album up to that point, certified double platinum in the United States, with worldwide sales of close to four million. The success of Heart Break would launch the group on a successful concert tour as well in the closing months of 1988; with former member Bobby Brown and Al B. Sure! as their opening acts.

1990–1995: Solo projects

Inspired by the substantial success Bobby Brown was having with his multi-platinum 1988 breakthrough album Don’t Be Cruel, after the run of Heart Break, New Edition went on hiatus to pursue side projects away from the group. At the suggestion of producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ron DeVoe formed a trio, Bell Biv DeVoe. Their 1990 debut album, Poison, went triple platinum. The same year, lead singers Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill (who had already recorded as a solo act prior to joining New Edition) also released self-titled solo albums, which also achieved multi-platinum success. Later that year, the group (including Bobby Brown) had a semi-reunion of sorts when they performed at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards. In 1991, all six members again reunited to record a remix of the Bell Biv DeVoe track "Word To The Mutha!"; Brown, Gill and Tresvant also appeared in the music video. Prior to this, Brown also appeared in the music videos for Bell Biv DeVoe's "BBD (I Thought It Was Me)" video, as well as Tresvant's "Stone Cold Gentleman" and "Sensitivity" remix videos.

1996-1997: Home Again reunion

By 1996, the members of New Edition had arguably achieved greater commercial success with their own side projects than the group had during its run. However, after having promised fans that there would be a reunion—and still contractually owing MCA Records another New Edition album—the group (with Bobby Brown) reunited to record Home Again, their first new album in eight years. The album debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and R&B Albums chart, and became the most commercially successful album of the group's career; reaching double platinum status in the United States and selling over four million copies worldwide. Home Again, meanwhile, produced several hits, including the top ten pop hits: "Hit Me Off" and "I'm Still In Love With You". The ensuing 1997 Home Again Tour, however, would prove disastrous for the group. Despite not having toured together in close to a decade (and over ten years for Brown), old rivalries and struggles for on stage dominance resurfaced as if no time had passed. By the middle leg of the tour, one evening at a concert in Las Cruces NM as Brown was extending his solo set, Ronnie DeVoe attempted to pull Brown off the stage. Brown responded by dropping his microphone and a fist fight between the two ensued. This led to both members' security guards confronting each other, gun play was brought in and the concert was halted. Bivins and Brown left the tour early while DeVoe, Bell, Gill and Tresvant finished out the rest of the tour as a quartet. Brown later admitted during an interview that he was intoxicated during the tour. Each of the group members again went their separate ways, this time on more hostile terms than ever; resulting in an indefinite hiatus that appeared to be the swan song for New Edition.

2002-2004: New Edition under Bad Boy

After their second wave of solo pursuits proved less than successful, New Edition (sans Bobby Brown) reunited once more and began touring clubs, casinos, and small arenas in 2002; including appearing on The Tom Joyner Sky Show. After having caught the attention of rapper/producer Sean Combs, who was present at one of their shows, he signed the group to his Bad Boy Records label, after their long term contract with MCA Records finally expired.

In the fall of 2004, New Edition’s seventh studio album and Bad Boy debut, One Love, was released. Though the album debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200, it had a steady descent from the chart. The lead-off single, "Hot 2Nite," underperformed; peaking at number thirty-five and number eighty-seven on the R&B and Pop singles charts, respectively. During production of the album, the group disagreed with Combs on its creative direction. In an interview, Ricky Bell later revealed that Combs' had refused to pay New Edition's long time producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for a track that the group wanted on the album. Reportedly, Combs told the group they were over budget, despite their having used many of Bad Boy's in-house team of writers and producers on the album. Ultimately, the group asked to be released from their Bad Boy contract. Despite the messy divorce with Bad Boy, New Edition soldiered on and continued to tour.

Recent years

In the fall of 2005, New Edition performed a medley of hits at BET’s 25th Anniversary Special. During their set, they brought Bobby Brown out onstage for an impromptu rendition of their 1985 hit "Mr. Telephone Man". It was later announced on BET and Access Hollywood that Brown had reconciled with New Edition and planned to rejoin the group for its future concert dates and studio albums.

 

On August 26, 2006, New Edition filmed a concert at the University of South Carolina's Koger Center in Columbia set for a future DVD release, the concert was billed as "Spend the Night with New Edition", a BET special presented by Lincoln with whom the group has advertised. Bobby Brown also made an appearance at the show.

In 2008, the group (minus Brown) recorded a new song with New Kids on the Block called "Full Service" for their latest album, The Block. Meanwhile, Brown, Tresvant and Gill formed a new side group called Heads of State, which performed at "The Summit Tour" in 2009. According to Gill, their group name "is inspired by the original name for The Rat Pack called "The Summit" or "The Heads of State".

On June 28, 2009, the group performed a medley of Jackson 5 hits in tribute to Michael Jackson on the BET Awards. Led by Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, and Ricky Bell, New Edition sang and danced through classics such as "I Want You Back", "ABC" and "The Love You Save". Later that year, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill joined New Kids on the Block onstage at a House Of Blues benefit show for Toys for Tots in Boston, performing "Full Service" and "This One's for the Children".

Gill later confirmed that New Edition had signed with manager Irving Azoff, that they are currently signed with Geffen Records (which absorbed the groups old label, MCA, and controls the groups back catalog) and was slating to release a comeback album.

 

On July 3, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana, all six members of New Edition reunited at the Essence Music Festival to kick off and celebrate their 30th anniversary tour. “This is just the beginning. We’re preparing for a world tour and many other exciting things that we’ll be announcing soon. The next chapter of New Edition is going to be an incredible celebration to thank our fans for all of their support over the last 30 years,” said Bell speaking on behalf of the group.

In February 2012, Brown would miss a handful of dates due to the death of ex-wife Whitney Houston. On March 9 and 11, 2012, Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe made their African debut by performing in Nigeria.

In late 2012, New Edition received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Soul Train Awards ceremony. All six members appeared together onstage that evening.

According to Centric TV, all six original members have laid out a schedule for their 30th anniversary tour, starting with a stop in Louisville Kentucky on February 10.

Discography

Main article: New Edition discography

Studio albums

 

    Candy Girl (1983)

    New Edition (1984)

    All for Love (1985)

    Under the Blue Moon (1986)

    Heart Break (1988)

    Home Again (1996)

    One Love (2004)

Other albums

    Candy Girl 25th Anniversary Edition (2008)

Members

    Ricky Bell – vocals (1983–present)

    Michael Bivins – vocals (1983–present)

    Bobby Brown – vocals (1983-1986; 1996-1997; 2005–present)

    Ronnie DeVoe – vocals (1983–present)

    Johnny Gill – vocals (1987–present)

    Ralph Tresvant – vocals (1983–present)

The Legendary Winans Tags: winans legends true worship music word life production new qualtiy entertainment featured blog

The Winans were pioneers in the field of contemporary gospel, updating the sound and style of traditional black gospel vocal groups for the urban contemporary age. While they weren't the first group to do so, they were probably the most important factor in popularizing the style, paving the way for countless urban-style gospel groups to follow -- including numerous other members of their own, confusingly large family tree. The Winans were composed of brothers Marvin, Carvin, Ronald, and Michael, all of whom were born in Detroit and raised in a strict, loving Christian environment. Their parents later recorded together as Mom & Pop Winans, and their other family spinoff acts included Daniel, Vickie, brother and sister BeBe & CeCe, and Angie & Debbie; plus, their own sons went on to form the third-generation group Winans Phase 2. All of that came later, though. The four brothers, like the rest of their siblings, grew up singing in gospel choirs, and decided to form a professional quartet in their twenties. A mutual friend introduced them to Andraé Crouch, a major force in the contemporization of gospel music, and Crouch signed The Winans to his Light label.

Introducing the Winans

The Winans released their debut album, Introducing the Winans, in 1981, which was produced by Crouch and featured the now-classic cuts "The Question Is" and "Restoration." The 1983 follow-up, Long Time Comin', started to break the group to a wider audience, reaching the Top Ten on the gospel album charts; it also produced another staple of their repertoire in the ballad "Long Time Comin' (Holdin' On)." The title track of their third album, Tomorrow (which also made the gospel Top Ten), won the group its first Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group in 1985. In the wake of that success, The Winans moved over to famed producer Quincy Jones' Qwest label. Their label debut, Let My People Go, topped the gospel albums chart in 1986, and featured their first high-profile duet -- with Vanessa Bell Armstrong on "Choose Ye." Meanwhile, the title track won another Grammy, and the group received the first of three consecutive Dove Awards as Best Contemporary Gospel Group. Released in 1987, Decision was another number one hit on the gospel charts, and produced The Winans' first big crossover hit in the Anita Baker duet "Ain't No Need to Worry." The single made the Top 20 on the R&B charts and won a third straight Grammy.

Return

Following this run as one of the most popular gospel groups in America, The Winans slowed their pace a little. Aside from the 1988 concert album Live at Carnegie Hall, the group didn't release any new music until 1990's Return. Return was another big crossover success, going gold and just missing the Top Ten on the R&B album charts. It featured a duet with Stevie Wonder on "Everyday the Same," and the Teddy Riley-produced "It's Time" was a major hit with secular audiences, reaching the R&B Top Five. Riley also worked on "A Friend," which became a fan favorite, and saxman Kenny G appeared on another single, "When You Cry." Released in 1993, All Out upped the ante for high-profile guest appearances, featuring Wayman Tisdale (on the single "Payday"), R. Kelly, Lalah Hathaway, Ricky Van Shelton, and Kenny Loggins. Despite winning a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Album, All Out didn't sell as well with secular audiences as its immediate predecessors. Perhaps as a result, The Winans didn't court crossover success as ardently on its follow-up, 1995's Heart & Soul, which returned them to the Top Five on the gospel album charts. After Heart & Soul, The Winans took a break from performing to concentrate on individual interests and ministries. They did return in 2000 with the holiday album Christmas: Our Gifts to You. In 2002, Rhino Records released the 16-track retrospective The Very Best of the Winans, and the entire Winans family -- not just the group itself -- hit the road in support, marking the first time in a decade that all the family members had performed together.

Source: AllMusic

A moment in history - W. E. B. Du Bois
Category: Black Men Rock!
Tags: moment history web du bois black ment rock word life production new qualtiy entertainment

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95.

On Feb. 23, 1868, W. E. B. Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Mass., where he grew up. During his youth he did some newspaper reporting. In 1884 he graduated as valedictorian from high school. He got his bachelor of arts from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1888, having spent summers teaching in African American schools in Nashville's rural areas. In 1888 he entered Harvard University as a junior, took a bachelor of arts cum laude in 1890, and was one of six commencement speakers. From 1892 to 1894 he pursued graduate studies in history and economics at the University of Berlin on a Slater Fund fellowship. He served for 2 years as professor of Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

In 1891 Du Bois got his master of arts and in 1895 his doctorate in history from Harvard. His dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published as No. 1 in the Harvard Historical Series. This important work has yet to be surpassed. In 1896 he married Nina Gomer, and they had two children.

In 1896-1897 Du Bois became assistant instructor in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. There he conducted the pioneering sociological study of an urban community, published as The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (1899). These first two works assured Du Bois's place among America's leading scholars.

Du Bois's life and work were an inseparable mixture of scholarship, protest activity, and polemics. All of his efforts were geared toward gaining equal treatment for black people in a world dominated by whites and toward marshaling and presenting evidence to refute the myths of racial inferiority.

As Racial Activist

In 1905 Du Bois was a founder and general secretary of the Niagara movement, an African American protest group of scholars and professionals. Du Bois founded and edited the Moon (1906) and the Horizon (1907-1910) as organs for the Niagara movement. In 1909 Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and from 1910 to 1934 served it as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and editor of the Crisis, its monthly magazine.

In the Crisis, Du Bois directed a constant stream of agitation--often bitter and sarcastic--at white Americans while serving as a source of information and pride to African Americans. The magazine always published young African American writers. Racial protest during the decade following World War I focused on securing anti-lynching legislation. During this period the NAACP was the leading protest organization and Du Bois its leading figure.

In 1934 Du Bois resigned from the NAACP board and from the Crisis because of his new advocacy of an African American nationalist strategy: African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives. This approach opposed the NAACP's commitment to integration. However, he returned to the NAACP as director of special research from 1944 to 1948. During this period he was active in placing the grievances of African Americans before the United Nations, serving as a consultant to the UN founding convention (1945) and writing the famous "An Appeal to the World" (1947).

Du Bois was a member of the Socialist party from 1910 to 1912 and always considered himself a Socialist. In 1948 he was cochairman of the Council on African Affairs; in 1949 he attended the New York, Paris, and Moscow peace congresses; in 1950 he served as chairman of the Peace Information Center and ran for the U.S. Senate on the American Labor party ticket in New York. In 1950-1951 Du Bois was tried and acquitted as an agent of a foreign power in one of the most ludicrous actions ever taken by the American government. Du Bois traveled widely throughout Russia and China in 1958-1959 and in 1961 joined the Communist party of the United States. He also took up residence in Ghana, Africa, in 1961.

Pan-Africanism

Du Bois was also active in behalf of pan-Africanism and concerned with the conditions of people of African descent wherever they lived. In 1900 he attended the First Pan-African Conference held in London, was elected a vice president, and wrote the "Address to the Nations of the World." The Niagara movement included a "pan-African department." In 1911 Du Bois attended the First Universal Races Congress in London along with black intellectuals from Africa and the West Indies.

Du Bois organized a series of pan-African congresses around the world, in 1919, 1921, 1923, and 1927. The delegations comprised intellectuals from Africa, the West Indies, and the United States. Though resolutions condemning colonialism and calling for alleviation of the oppression of Africans were passed, little concrete action was taken. The Fifth Congress (1945, Manchester, England) elected Du Bois as chairman, but the power was clearly in the hands of younger activists, such as George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah, who later became significant in the independence movements of their respective countries. Du Bois's final pan-African gesture was to take up citizenship in Ghana in 1961 at the request of President Kwame Nkrumah and to begin work as director of the Encyclopedia Africana.

As Scholar

Du Bois's most lasting contribution is his writing. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles. Only a few of his most significant works will be mentioned here.

From 1897 to 1910 Du Bois served as professor of economics and history at Atlanta University, where he organized conferences titled the Atlanta University Studies of the Negro Problem and edited or co-edited 16 of the annual publications, on such topics as The Negro in Business (1899), The Negro Artisan (1902), The Negro Church (1903), Economic Cooperation among Negro Americans (1907), and The Negro American Family (1908). Other significant publications were The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches (1903), one of the outstanding collections of essays in American letters, and John Brown (1909), a sympathetic portrayal published in the American Crisis Biographies series.

Du Bois also wrote two novels, The Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911) and Dark Princess: A Romance (1928); a book of essays and poetry, Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920); and two histories of black people, The Negro (1915) and The Gift of Black Folk: Negroes in the Making of America (1924).

From 1934 to 1944 Du Bois was chairman of the department of sociology at Atlanta University. In 1940 he founded Phylon, a social science quarterly. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), perhaps his most significant historical work, details the role of African Americans in American society, specifically during the Reconstruction period. The book was criticized for its use of Marxist concepts and for its attacks on the racist character of much of American historiography. However, it remains the best single source on its subject.

Black Folk, Then and Now (1939) is an elaboration of the history of black people in Africa and the New World. Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945) is a brief call for the granting of independence to Africans, and The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (1947; enlarged ed. 1965) is a major work anticipating many later scholarly conclusions regarding the significance and complexity of African history and culture. A trilogy of novels, collectively entitled The Black Flame (1957, 1959, 1961), and a selection of his writings, An ABC of Color (1963), are also worthy.

Du Bois received many honorary degrees, was a fellow and life member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He was the outstanding African American intellectual of his period in America.

Du Bois died in Ghana on Aug. 27, 1963, on the eve of the civil rights march in Washington, D.C. He was given a state funeral, at which Kwame Nkrumah remarked that he was "a phenomenon."


Source: NAACP

Soul and R&B Legend - Al B Sure
Category: The Art of Soul
Tags: soul r&b art soul word life production new qualtiy entertainment featured blog

Al B. Sure! (Albert Joseph Brown III, b.) is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. During the late 1980s, Al B. Sure! enjoyed a brief run as one of New Jack Swing's most popular romantic singers and producers.

Brown was a star football quarterback in high school,and he turned down a scholarship to the University of Iowa to pursue a career in music. In 1987, Quincy Jones selected him as the first winner of the Sony Innovators Talent Search. Subsequently, Al would go on to work with Jones on several projects, most notably the platinum single "Secret Garden" from Jones' double platinum album Back on the Block. On this recording Al was one of a quartet with Barry White, El DeBarge, and James Ingram.

His solo debut album from 1988, In Effect Mode, sold more than two million copies, topping the Billboard R&B chart for seven straight weeks. The album included his memorable "Nite and Day" single. Al received numerous Grammy and American Music Award nominations, and won an AMA for Best New R&B Artist. He also received several Soul Train Award nominations, and won the award for Best New Artist.

As a writer and producer, Al introduced the multi-platinum group Jodeci and teen R&B performer Tevin Campbell (also one of Quincy Jones's former protégés), as well as Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case, and Usher to the music scene.

In 1991, Al co-starred with Martin Lawrence in a television pilot titled Private Times. Other cast members included ER's Michael Michele and The Five Heartbeats' Michael Wright. Al's various talk show appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, The Arsenio Hall Show, Rolanda and Donahue. Al's television and acting performances include Showtime at the Apollo, Soul Train and The Soul Train Music Awards, the Grammys and the American Music Awards, Will Smith's Fresh Prince of Bel Air and ABC's Magic Johnson Special from Hawaii. Al also hosted MTV Jams.

In 2000, Al's ABS Entertainment launched a television development division, and he served as co-executive producer of the HBO Comedy Special starring Jamie Foxx, filmed at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California.

After a long absense, Al returned in 2009 with Honey I'm Home, his first release on the Hidden Beach label.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikepedia article Al B. Sure

Source: SoulTracks

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