Yesterday was pretty interesting…
I had a conversation with an editor of a long running, highly respected magazine that caters to Black women about a possible story that another one of their editors floated out to me back in April. The editor attended the launch party for my book ‘Black Rock Volume 1’ (available now through Blurb.com – I know, cheap plug), and suggested a piece on me as well as a companion piece with the working title, ‘Women Of Black Rock’. I thought it was cool and there were e-mails that went back and forth about it.
Finally, I got a key editor on the phone to talk some more about it and that’s when things got…interesting. When I mentioned to her what I envisioned what the piece could be, the editor sidetracked a bit to tell me how hard it was to get a piece on Nicki Minaj in the magazine. Now I know that the editor was trying to tell me – albeit clumsily – that if they can’t a Nicki Minaj and subsesquent ‘Women in Hip Hop’ piece done, it would be close to impossible to get a ‘Women In Black Rock’ story in.
So I took a different approach. I went on to tell the editor that rock n roll is Black Music and these outstanding, dynamic and original women of color were carrying on a great and honored musicial tradition. After all, this magazine is built on self-reliance, tradition and celebrates strong Black women, right?
Silence. Stone cold silence. I could practically hear the wood burning in this editor’s head. It just was not processing.
So after that uncomfortable moment, the editor goes on to mention that they ran a piece in their August issue featuring women who have ventured outside of mainstream R&B and hip hop. The editor did admit that none of the women were rock artists, so for the sake of finding out who they were, I threw out a couple of names: Janelle Monae (no), Meshell Nedegeocello (who?), Tamar-Kali…
‘Wasn’t she the one who sat next to Prince at The B.E.T. Awards?’
Needless to say, it didn’t go well. I got the obligatory ‘I’ll re-pitch the story again’ speech (as if it were ever pitched in the first place) and that was that.
All of which is to say, this is why The Black Rock Coalition exists. To enlighten the ignorant and the curious about the undeniable Black DNA that is on the rock n roll spectrum.
To find out more about the BRC, check out their Facebook and MySpace pages.
P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the Executive Director for the Black Rock Coalition.