Magazine article Ebony

No More CD and Video Disrespect

Magazine article Ebony

No More CD and Video Disrespect

Article excerpt

IT'S bigger than Nelly and Fat Joe--combined. It's badder than 50 Cent. It's more important than The Game. In fact, some would say it's downright Ludacris. It's the blatant "dissing" of Black mothers, daughters and sisters by some elements of the music industry. It's unprecedented. And it has to stop. Now!

A brave remnant of Black daughters at Spelman College is leading the charge to challenge the music industry's negative portrayal and treatment of Black women. In several standing-room-only town hall meetings and demonstrations over the last two years, the Sistahs at the institution renowned for its academic excellence and outstanding leadership continued its tradition by challenging the music industry status quo. Now they are turning up the heat. Black women, they say, will no longer be the industry's cash cow, with profits gleaned from songs and videos that disrespect Black women. One of the leaders of the movement, Asha Jennings, says their movement is bigger than any one artist. "It's about empowering our Sisters who think this is the only way to make it."

In a finely crafted statement, the Spelman College Student Government Association and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance decried degrading and "hypersexual" images of Black women in hip-hop music and videos. "We challenge hip-hop producers and superstars to use the power of their lyrics to communicate more positive, affirming, empowering, and socially-conscious messages, for we know that popular songs today are just as important as civil rights bills of the 1960s."

A challenge also has to go out to young Sisters who appear in videos and shows, scantily clad, gyrating, and who are the immediate objects of this national disrespect of Black women. They have to understand that there is something greater--and dearer--than the fleeting fame that comes with these appearances--it's spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T! …

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