February is Black History Month. I plan to celebrate, recognize and reflect upon Black culture and achievements, by reading and finding out more. But that’s not all. I’ll create a master playlist of my favourite Black artists. Why not check out the music collection at your local library branch?
Who’s on my list?
Alicia Keys. This soulful songstress is part pop, part hip hop, and totally amazing. Singer, songwriter, pianist and poet; she’s sure to please!
Stevie Wonder. Adjectives fail. He’s gifted and prolific! If you want his early pop, start with Greatest Hits (volume 2!). If you want your Stevie a little funkier, then check out Original Musiquarium. And, you can’t go wrong with the decades-spanning Definitive Collection. Just try to keep from dancing!
Erykah Badu. For intelligent, soulful and inventive hip hop, it’s Erykah Badu for me. Turn to her latest two releases, New Amerykah Part 1 and Worldwide Underground for beats and rhymes. Mama’s Gun, however, is my favourite. It’s amazingly chill, and an album you can enjoy again and again! In the age of i-pods, I turn to this album on an “old fashioned” CD.
Gnarls Barkley. I’m guessing that most people heard about Gnarls Barkley a few years ago when their smash hit “Crazy” became ubiquitous. That’s how I did. But since then I’ve spent a while with albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple, and I’ve loved every minute! Not only are the lyrics introspective, but the music itself is exuberant and inventive. Above all, I love the vocal stylings of Cee-Lo Green. His tone is pure Motown and utterly timeless!
Jill Scott. She’s a singer. She’s a poet. She’s amazing. For an indication of just what she’s capable of, check out my personal favourite, her live album, 826+. Her studio albums, though, are amazing in their own right. Start with Who is Jill Scott, Words and Sounds vol. 1.
Who else is on my list?
Smokey Robinson, Al Green and Marvin Gaye are more of my top picks. So are Dianna Ross and Lauryn Hill. I also love Macy Gray, and (believe it or not) Kanye West. The list goes “on and on”, as Erykah might say…
Drop by your local branch this February! Celebrate Black History Month by listening to music, researching notable Black figures, or reading novels by Black authors.
Also, join us as we celebrate Black History Month with drumming, spoken word performances and a panel discussion about Black History.