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QWOC+ Boston is a group that promotes diversity by creating and sustaining safe spaces for LGBT people of color in the Greater Boston area.
Posted By QWOC+ Boston on April 19th, 2012

Submit! Nearly There is a zine project meant to address the serious absence and silencing of stories about the experiences of queer people of color.

 

Melange Lavonne Takes a Stand Against Racism at LA Pride

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on May 10th, 2008

I am reposting an excerpt from Melange Lavonne’s blog (link above). She sent out a bulletin yesterday titled “I do not support LA Pride” with a few reasons. Of course I responded and told her that I supported her decision to speak out against the racism that she experiences in the music industry as a hiphop artist… It’s fascinating to me that people think just because hip-hop culture has been embraced by american youth, and as such, has become somewhat mainstream, that these artists walk around on a red carpat all the time. Don’t get me started…

“Why I Do Not Support LA Pride”

I don’t support LA Pride Entertainment, three years I’ve submitted my material and because it doesn’t fit or flow with the other genres of music like rock, folk, alternative, (so I’ve been told) my hip-hop act wouldn’t fit the bill (main stage). I do not support LA Pride Entertainment. My messages aren’t negative and I would think the LGBT Community would get over themselves and stop seeing artists “like me” who do hip-hop, in a negative light.

Some Prides segregate music by having individual stages for acts of a particular type of genre to perform. Interesting how hip-hop always gets its own tent off to the side away from main stage. Hip Hop is a multi BILLION dollar industry, if you don’t like the music, at least hear some of the positive messages and think “smart” that it can get to a newer generation. Instead you repeatedly ask for artists who were big in the 70′s and 80′s to come back and perform.

I have to go out of my home state to perform at Prides, which is just fine with me. I love New York, DC, London for showing love for my Film, Boston, NJ, UConn. Hip-hop should be a part of mainstage as well. Not just folk, or rock, or etc, and that applies to Dinah Shore weekend in Palm Springs. Shame on you.

I will never take part or contribute to anything they do unless they make a public apology for the statement they sent me explaining why I can’t be a part of main stage.

I will not take part of any organization that discriminates or segregates people through music, preference, race, age, or background.

If these prides want to continue overlooking the new talents who are voices and influential artists who want change, then they don’t deserve the message we come with.

I love her. She’s such an amazing artist and am glad that she’s making it a habit early in her career to merge her music with her activism. LA Pride should be ashamed of themselves, and so should any other pride/festival that still treats hiphop artists like this.

Incidentally, a similar situation just happened in England with Jay-Z. Apparently there was an outcry when he was selected as the headline for a famous music festival. The festival has generally featured ‘rock/guitar’ musicians, but not necessarily because that was the theme – they just never asked any negros! With Jay-Z’s success and global popularity, the festival organizers decided that it would be cool to invite him to headline the show. Oh boy, the gall! A “rapper”?? So many artists spoke out against him, saying that his music wasn’t the ‘kind’ that the festival attendants went to hear.

Idiots. Dumb, ignorant idiots. Jay-Z’s music features live bands in his concerts, this past album sounded so funk jazz classic in its production. But nooo… white people still don’t get that hip-hop – an entire GENRE of music – isn’t comprised solely of “bitches” and “hos”. Anyway, unlike LA Pride, I am glad that the festival’s organizers are holding their ground and not giving into the bullshit.

Still… why are people so stupid?

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