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NEWS -- Black History Month Tribute

Artists honor Black History Month on-line

Booker T. Jones, Mavis Staples, Bettye LaVette and Swamburger celebrate with personal essays

For the month of February, the ANTI-Records blog will feature weekly essays on being black in America in 2009, as written by the label’s African American recording artists in honor of Black History Month.   Bettye LaVette (who performed at the inauguration festivities) writes about this momentous Presidency, Mavis Staples ponders the power of music to both heal and communicate while Solillaquists of Sound's Swamburger talks of his experiences as a black male artist. 

 This week’s thoughtful piece, just posted on ANTI- Record's blog (www.antilabelblog.com ), was written by Booker T. Jones, who reflects on the meaning of Black History Month in this historic year.  With a long history of living outside racial boundaries - Booker T. and the MGs had both black and white members at a time when much of the country was integrating only under the protection of the National Guard. Booker T.'s was the perfect voice to bring attention to Black History Month on the label’s blog.

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Booker T. Jones at Stax Museum in Memphis

photo by Jennifer Wheeler

In his piece, Booker T. writes:  "In September '08, weeks before the election, while walking in Washington DC with my wife Nan, I was struck with an awareness I had never had before. It was as though I knew, with an unreal sense of certainty, of a real estate transaction that was about to transpire. And I was walking on that very piece of real estate.  We were walking from the Lincoln Memorial towards the Capitol Building on the Mall...on this same soil, I was walking, and remembering hymns written by Mrs. Lucy Campbell, and sung by the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Martin Luther King, that said: ‘this too shall pass’. I, a black male, was walking un-accosted, with my wife, who has white skin. And so, I knew, true to the dreams and instructions of the white men who wrote that inspired document that got us started, anything was possible."

Read the rest of Booker T.'s insightful and hopeful essay and check back weekly for new entries at the ANTI- label blog.

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