Pop culture and social media are expressing a renewed interest, and maybe even a slight obsession with, BlackGirlMagic — that intangible, untouchable, undeniable vitality that black women possess and nurture in others. But trends don't last, so what happens when girls grow into women? What happens when it's time to nurture this hallowed togetherness in a real, sustainable way? It will take more than Twitter threads and T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan to ensure black women are not just a celebrated, near-mythical identity and instead considered a dynamic group of people worthy of continued support.
Prone to slipping into memorized recitations of her poems mid-sentence, moore, 46, reveals that when she was a year-old writing in Detroit, she coined a term for it — black girl juice. There's still video evidence from of a younger, box-braided jessica reciting the poem at an Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem: Black Women Rock, an annual celebration of black women musicians in rock 'n' roll, is one thriving example of a tangible meeting place where attendees and entertainers can engage with supportive communities and "Black women rock" expression in real life.
The star-studded event is entering its 14th year of production at Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
What began as an evening of live performances has expanded into a roster of events throughout the city, designed to highlight, empower, and ultimately nurture these artists. On Saturday is the signature live concert performance with a mixed roster of local Detroit talent, out-of-state performers, and legendary headliners. The Sunday Sisterfire includes a series of rejuvenating workshops and healing sessions to practice the work of maintaining this intensity when they depart and return to their everyday lives.
A few Sundays ago, the Detroit-based Black Women Rock performers and headliners awaited their turn in front of the camera during a group photo shoot ahead of a production meeting in preparation for the series of events scheduled for the coming weeks.
Many of these women haven't seen each other since last year's show, so it feels like a class reunion among graduates of an Afrofuturist all-girls school. It's Black women rock to tell
Black women rock the varied squeals, screams, and laughs are coming from as performers and collaborators file one after the Black women rock into Bert's Warehouse Entertainment in Eastern Market.
There are checkered stilettos, high-top sneakers, over-the-knee boots, and combat boots. The room is full of notable and novice musicians, artists, and choreographers — among them are house producer and DJ Stacey "Hotwaxx" Hale, jazz pianist Alexis Lombre, and tubist Harley Daniels. And they all plan to come together in the name of rock.
Eventually, moore walks onto the stage for her closeup, outfitted with looks from Paulette Williams of Teasers Boutique.
Over the next few hours, she'll wear various outfits of so many variations of black that it seems like she's invented new shades —black, super black, and real black. There's a simple top with drapey wings, then a belted leather number, and finally a sheer dress over a shimmering flourish of gold glittery leggings. Her lipstick is the same color "Black women rock" a blueberry Dum Dum sucker and the tips of her brown dreadlocks are dipped in the same sticky candy hue.
After the photoshoot, moore moves to Black women rock slightly quieter table in a room that is a few smooth cha-chas away from the fresh-dressed couples that frequent Bert's to ballroom dance as framed pictures of jazz greats look on. She orders a hearty vegetarian Sunday dinner of red beans and rice, greens, cornbread, Mac and cheese, and sweet potatoes from
Black women rock kitchen.
She reminisces of one night a few years ago when she and an entourage of Black Women Rock performers descended upon Bert's unannounced after hours and jumped on stage.
The kitchen was closed, but the owner himself went to the back and fried fish for everyone. We've been learning how to run this show by doing it. Alphonsus in Dearborn, from first to eighth grade. But she didn't discover a rock star who looked like her until moving to New York City where her friend Ahmir Thompson, more commonly known as Roots drummer Questlove, Black women rock her, "You smile with Betty Davis teeth.
Her music, yes, but I fell in love with her non-story. I couldn't find any live video footage of her. If you Google Betty Davis, the high priestess of funk, you'll find pictures of her with a sky-high fro and mile-long legs. There's one image in particular where Black women rock is doing a high kick in a one-piece satin teddy and feathered heels.
She looks free and fun and intensely focused.
SATE, a Toronto rock artist and featured performer, says the opportunity to pay homage to Davis was the main reason she agreed to the show.
That, as well as being able to engage with a group of like-minded women who she can't seem Black women rock find anywhere else. The fact that we're going into underground crevices having to look far and wide to find one another goes to show you what the landscape looks like. All of the work that moore has done with Black Women Rock is geared toward remedying the relative invisibility or ignorance regarding black women in the rock scene.
While people may be able to list figures like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, or even Davis with relative ease, if you ask them about their favorite contemporary black woman rock 'n' roller, chances are they'll draw a blank.
Many of the artists that you see on stage during Black Women Rock are multi-hyphenates — artists, activists, and educators who come together every once in a while and flex another creative Black women rock you'd be hard-pressed to find more diverse group in the city.
Many black women entertainers don't have the luxury of shedding other identities to be superstars, so the event is just as much about performing as it is about preserving. This annual gathering is just one step in building a community and providing an ecosystem that renders creative careers as not only possible, but also inviting for black women.
Although moore is loyal to her roster of hometown mainstays and newcomers, she admits that she still has trouble finding a lead bass guitarist for her band and often has to fly in visiting performers. These glaring gaps in the local music scene are a sign that certain relationships and opportunities aren't being provided to new musicians and moore hopes to bridge that gap.
I hope she's being created, I hope that we're helping her see herself. Cecilia Sharpe has been down with Black Women Rock from the beginning and says that every year the women have Black women rock unique energy. Although Sharpe collaborates with artists throughout the city, she says Black Women Rock holds a special place in her musical development because there "Black women rock" many other opportunities like it.
On any other day, many of the featured artists wouldn't identify themselves as rock performers. Many of them have transcended the bounds of genre and prefer to follow a specific feeling, emotion, or technique to achieve a desired sound.
These women may just be following their hearts, but according to Nona Hendryx, legendary music icon and Black Women Rock special guest, this "internal dialogue" is vital for her decades-long career as a solo artist and in Labelle. Hendryx is a celebrated solo artist who has collaborated across genres for decades. As a founding member of the band Labelle of "Lady Marmalade" fame alongside Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash, she knows the ins and outs of creating a longstanding collaborative career.
She recalls the tension of entering a white male dominated music industry in the early '60s and Black women rock being taken seriously as a member of a band or as a solo artist. We broke the mold of what had been because there hadn't been an entity like Labelle before Labelle. Hendryx cites the internet as a gateway for today's emerging artists to authentically reach niche audiences that music industry machines wouldn't be able to find or sustain.
The idea of creative independence and ownership has been a theme throughout moore's artistic career and is especially relevant to the goals of Black Women Rock. One of her ultimate goals Black women rock to book a city international tour. She even received a handwritten message from Betty Davis a few years back acknowledging the success of Black Women Rock and thanking her for honoring her career.
But there is still work to be done. She is introducing her students "Black women rock" the musicians who she frequently collaborates with and challenging them to find common threads between their experiences and the themes discussed throughout music from black women. By centering the performer's stories within larger discussions of inequality, police violence, and feminism, moore hopes to inspire another generation of women to find creative ways to document their stories and respond to their surroundings.
The next frontier for black women artists is traversing avenues of ownership so that they can not only be independent artists, but also build tangible communities and own spaces that are big enough to hold and sustain their ideas.
Just imagine how much progress would be made in the local music scene if the women secured a venue or practice space of their own. At Bert's, Sabrina Nelson takes a seat at the table next to moore. The artist and curator has come to retrieve a small bounty of stacked bracelets, a leather cuff, and a few rings that she loaned to moore for the shoot. As she re-adorns her wrists and hands, she chimes in on the idea of creative autonomy. Black Women Rock starts at 7 p. The Sisterfire Community Festival will be held at the museum from 10 a.
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Detroit, MI Main: Arts and Culture Arts and Culture Home. Dining Dining Home Find a Restaurant. Best of Detroit "Black women rock" of Detroit Home. Classified Local Job Listings. jessica Care moore's Black WOMEN Rock! seeks to empower young women instrumentalists, vocalists, and poets to tell their stories and inspire BLACK WOMEN ROCK!
is a movement spearheaded by acclaimed poet, jessica Care moore in during the National Black Arts Festival. moore wanted to. Black Women Rock, an annual celebration of black women musicians in rock 'n' roll, is one thriving example of a tangible meeting place where.