Exciting reggae band Third World releases new music with Damian Marley

 

Third World

Jamaica’s beloved reggae band Third World releases new music, produced by Damian Marley.

By Tiffany Mea

As Black Music Month is celebrated across the globe, Jamaica’s iconic reggae band Third World is celebrating a very significant milestone–more than 40 years in music. Long admired as one of the most pivotal reggae bands of all time, Third World will release its first major song of the year “YimMasGan” on June 16, 2015 on Ghetto Youths International.

The song is produced by Damian Marley and will also be accompanied with a new music video directed by Jamaica’s own Ras Kassa, is a fresh take on the 1974 original track by The Abyssinians. Yim mas gan means let him be praised in the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. This is the second song written by The Abyssinians that Third World recorded. The first was “Satta Massagana,” released in 1975 on Chris Blackwell’s Island Records.

Reggae band Third World bas been providing musical excellence for more than 40 years.

Reggae band Third World bas been providing musical excellence for more than 40 years.

“This song is almost as if we have come full circle. When we recorded ‘Satta Massagana,’ it was one of our very first recordings. In fact, it was the lead song on our first self-titled album,” said Founding member Cat Coore. “This song is giving praise and thanks to the most high, Jah Rastafari, for his presence, ever-guiding hand and inspirational vibration that we all feel within the Rasta community. Recording this song with Jr. Gong makes it even more special to us. With Damian’s production skills mixed with his musicians that helped create the song, we feel it is one of the best covers not just done by Third World, but ever done by anyone.”

“The record has a lot of meaning to Third World because it’s giving praises to Ethiopia and the King. The writing of the Abyssinians music was so spiritually high, that is like a prayer. It is like a chant and we just connect with it. Also, Damian Marley adding his touch to the whole thing brings a new light to the music and its meaning,” said group member Richard Daley.

“I’m honored to be working with some of my musical heroes. Third World has played a great role in my development as an artist and I’m proud to be a part of their latest project,” expresses Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.

Vintage Third World image.

Vintage Third World image.

With 10 Grammy nominations, sold-out tours worldwide, a loyal fan base and a catalog of Top 40 Billboard charted smash hits including “Now That We Found Love,” which was remade with much success by the late Jamaica-born rapper Heavy D and the fan favorites “Try Jah Love,” and “96 Degrees in the Shade,” Third World has been one of the most consistently successful reggae bands. Third World’s reggae fusion style mixes R&B, funk, pop, rock, dance hall and hip-hop into the genre, making the group one of Jamaica’s most popular crossover acts among international audiences.

The band has toured and worked with the late great Bob Marley, including opening for Marley’s first world tour in 1978, Stevie Wonder, who produced two of the groups’ albums in the 80’s which were released with CBS, Carlos Santana and the Jackson Five, opening for their first concert in Jamaica. Third World has also shared the stage with the likes of Bono of U2, Sting, The Police, Whitney Houston, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton and Marc Anthony and landed national TV performances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Arsenio Hall Show and many more. Third World lost its distinctive lead singer William “Bunny Rugs’ Clarke to cancer February 2014, during Reggae Month.

Connect with the group on social media @FB | www.Facebook.com/ThirdWorldBand,
Twitter | www.twitter.com/ThirdWorldBand and IG | www.instagram.com/ThirdWorldBand–OnPointPress.net.

 

Atlanta honors legendary singer Gladys Knight with street-naming event

Gladys Knight has received numerous honors throughout her career, having a street named after her is a first though.

Gladys Knight has received numerous honors throughout her career, having a street named after her is a first.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Gladys Knight has won multiple awards during her illustrious singing career and has been recognized for her humanitarian efforts and entrepreneurial success, but Tuesday June 9, was a first for Knight as the city of Atlanta named a street in her honor.

“Gladys Knight Highway” will not only stand as a testament to the success of the Georgia native, but also serve as a reminder of Knight’s presence in the first place she called home and immortalized in her hit song “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Knight (c) is surrounded by the numerous city officials that supported the bill that allowed for the street to be named in honor of Knight.

Entertainer Gladys Knight (c) is surrounded by the numerous city officials who supported the bill that allowed for the street to be named in her honor.

“I am most happy for all of us, all of you. When you ride down the street and see my name, have some pride in it to know that you have a piece of it, ” Knight said in accepting the award.

A number of invited guests and media gathered at the Georgia State Capitol building to witness the unveiling of the street named in Knight’s honor. Among those gathered were members of the state Senate, which unanimously passed the bill that would name State Route 9 from Peachtree Street to 14th Street Gladys Knight Highway.

Knight poses with state Senator Donzella James.

Singer Gladys Knight poses with state Senator Donzella James.

Senator Donzella James, describing the inspiration for the event, said that her late husband Elmo was a huge fan of Gladys Knight and the Pips and would surely “be smiling down from heaven right now.” Senator James said that it was important for Knight to be able to enjoy her honor rather than have the dedication posthumously, as is often the case.

Other public officials, including Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, offered warm memories on the impact Knight’s music and other ventures have had on the state of Georgia and Atlanta specifically.

Knight poses with some of her family that joined in her celebration, her cousin James (c) and her brother Bubba (r).

Gladys Knight poses with some of her family members who joined in the celebration, her cousin James (c) and her brother Bubba (r).

Knight was joined by many family members as she received the rare honor. Among the many who were able to attend were her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, and cousin whose nickname will forever be associated with Gladys Knight, James “Pip” Woods.

Bubba and Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson spoke at the welcoming ceremony. Hankerson is the manager of Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles restaurants.

Knight displays the street sign bearing her name while standing with her husband William McDowell.

Gladys Knight displays the street sign bearing her name while standing with her husband William McDowell.

While Knight was surrounded by siblings, children, and extended family, she was supported during the entire ceremony by her proud husband, William McDowell.

“I might be biased, but I do believe my wife deserves this honor,” a beaming McDowell stated.

The street-naming recognizes Knight as a celebrated and accomplished daughter of Atlanta, Georgia.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a Licensed Insurance Agent at HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.

Reggae artist Maxi Priest leads SummerStage lineup, set for June 27

maxi

By Tiffany Mea

Reggae stars Maxi Priest and Gyptian as well as soca royalty Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons will take the stage in NYC’s Central Park to celebrate VP Records’ 35th year in business as well as its partnership with SummerStage. DJs Bobby Konders and Jabba of Massive B will also provide sounds throughout the day. The free concert kicks off at 2 p.m. and ends at 7pm on June 27, 2015.

35 years ago, VP Records’ founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica, to Jamaica, New York, transforming their operations into the largest Caribbean music company worldwide. At the concert there will also be a special VP Records 35th anniversary pop-up exhibit entitled A Reggae Music Journey, which designed by acclaimed artist Michael Thompson. The display will be located outside of the event for all the patrons to enjoy.

“VP Records is proud to bring this all-star lineup into the heart of Manhattan. We’re all looking forward to celebrating the 35th anniversary with an enjoyable day of reggae and soca music in the park,” said VP Records Senior Director of Marketing Brian Greenspoon. SummerStage is also celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. SummerStage is a program of City Parks Foundation that presents performances of outstanding artistic quality, free of charge, to serve the diverse communities of New York City. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, they have extended the season from May to October, and added more than 20 free shows in Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks across the city.

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.

VP Records co-founder Patricia Chin said: “SummerStage’s 30th Anniversary and VP Records’ 35th Anniversary are significant milestones that we are honored to acknowledge together at the prestigious Central Park venue.” After 35 years, Miss Pat, as her staff affectionately refers to her, is still very much involved with the day-to-day operations of VP Records.

With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, multiple Grammy nominations and Top 10 Billboard hits, including the No. 1 smash “Close To You,” the most successful solo act in British reggae history, Maxi Priest, continues to hit the road throughout 2015 in support of his first studio album in almost a decade, Easy To Love on the VP Records label. Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian broke into the reggae scene in 2005 with his string of hits like “Serious Times” “Beautiful Lady” and “Mama, Don’t Cry.” He hit international stardom in 2010 with his critically-acclaimed album Hold You and its RIAA certified Gold title rack, which featured a Nicki Minaj remix, and earned him a 2010 MOBO and Soul Train award.

Born Ian Alvarez, the Trinidadian ragga soca star Bunji Garlin is known for his blending of soca with dancehall. Hailed recently by Rolling Stone as “America’s first soca star,” Garlin has clearly taken his native country’s genre to new heights. His single “Differentology (Ready For The Road),” which was remixed by Major Lazer & Busta Rhymes, was a massive hit in North America more than a year after its release in the Caribbean. Fay Ann Lyons is already a superstar in her native country of Trinidad and across the Caribbean. During Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival season’s annual competitions, Fay Ann has set the record as the only female artist to score the Carnival Road March title three times, taking the crown in 2003, 2008 and 2009.

Massive B was formed over 10 years ago with DJ Bobby Konders’ vision of starting his own sound system. At its start, the voice behind Massive B was none other than Jabba. There have been many additions to Massive B as it continues to grow. New members include Big Dawg, Chudney Shotta, D-Life and X-Man, among others. Massive B has toured all over the globe, playing major festivals and dances, and representing NYC along the way. Locally, Massive B is a Brooklyn staple, performing annually at the borough’s West Indian Day Parade and weekly at the Buzz Nightclub for ‘Fire Sundays,’ where they spin the hottest reggae, dancehall, hip hop, R&B, and soca music. Bobby and Jabba can also be heard on-air every weekend on Hot 97 FM.–OnPointPress.net.

VP Records’ collection of roots reggae music celebrates ‘jah’

image

From the opening strains of Buju Banton’s haunting ‘Our Father in Zion’ to the evangelistic delivery of Luciano’s live performance of his classic, ‘It’s Me Again Jah’ there is no mistaking that ‘Reggae Loves JAH’ is a thoughtful collection of hits that is sure to become a favorite for reggae lovers globally. Released on VP Records, the  sequencing of the songs by Dane “Fatman” Bogle, easily captures the essence of the unique relationship between reggae, Rasta, Emperor Selassie the First, revered by many as ‘Jah’ and the island of Jamaica, from which reggae and rasta sprung forth. ‘Reggae Loves Jah’ contains thirteen tracks espousing Rastafarian “livity” in giving praises to the ‘Most High,Jah Rastafari.’

For executive producer Eisaku “Selector A” Yamaguchi, this album was made “from the bottom of his heart” as a tribute to Rastafarian principles. He says, “I am not Rasta, but I support Rasta and their “livity,” their view on life and what Rastafari I stand for is similar to how I view life.” Selector A’s previous compilation, ‘Reggae Loves Africa’ was “a reminder about Africa…Reggae is known for its strong message and inspiration, it inspires people worldwide.”

Reggae Loves Jah is right on time, featuring a collection of stand alone hits like  ‘Greetings,’ track #4 from Half Pint; track #5, ‘Jah Is By My Side’ from Tony Rebel; ‘Jah Jah Is The Ruler’ with Garnet Silk on track #11 and ‘Jah Works,’ track #6 from Terror Fabulous. Over the years, many reggae stars have said that they learned about Rastafari, Africa and Emperor Haile Selassie the First through reggae music. Songs like Glen Washington’s ‘Jah Glory,’ track#10 and Bushman’s ‘Lighthouse’ track $12 are prayerful praises being given up to Jah, “the Most High.” The album allows new comers to the genre to have a good sampling in one compilation as a solid representation of Rastafarian praise music. Selector A says, “I made this album, ‘Reggae Loves JAH’ as a Rasta baton from the bottom of my heart, to pass on to the next generation.”

Though the tracks represent a variety of singers and producers, the late Phillip “Fattis” Burrell’s Xterminator label is featured four times beginning with track #2, ‘Praise Him’ with Sanchez, which remains a perennial favorite, followed by track #3, ‘Praise Ye Jah’ with Sizzla. This track reminds us of the sweetly poignant vocals and profound lyrics that made us fall in love with Sizzla in the 90’s. Track #9, ‘Jah Blessing’ features Sizzla and at the time stable mate, Luciano, on a very popular track that scored big for them and Xterminator as they were being mentored by Fattis. The final track on the album is also an Xterminator single, ‘It’s Me Again Jah’ which helped to catapult Luciano, who became known as “The Messenger” into becoming a household name. The song is loved by Christians, church goers, Rastafarians and secular folks alike. Tracks like Fantan Mojah’s ‘Thanks and Praise’ and Jah Cure’s ‘Jah Jah Bless Me’ are fast becoming classics and deserve to be among these established tracks.

There is something to be said about the thought that went into compiling these thirteen tracks and paying homage to the muse of roots reggae music. ‘Reggae Loves JAH’ is chock full of songs that we know, songs that have remained in our consciousness. Like prayers we learned as children that quickly come to mind in times of need, these songs though familiar to the average reggae fan, will be well received by the astute reggae collector for all being on the same album. Selector A is convinced that “with social media we can promote this album to the new generation as articles alone can’t get the youth’s attention; we still need music to carry out the message.”–OnPointPress.net.

 

Jamaican singer Christopher Martin releases debut EP, ‘Steppin Razor’

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin-Photo Credit Zev Schmitz.

By Tiffany Mea

Jamaican reggae crooner Christopher Martin released his much-anticipated debut EP ‘Steppin Razor,’ on April 21 on VP Records. The 5-song digital-only release balances sweetness, swagger and sex appeal and showcases his versatility and vocal excellence. Martin fires with formidable skill on each of Steppin Razor’s songs.

The upbeat “We Are The Vibes” (produced by TJ Records) and the braggadocios single “I’m A Big Deal” (produced by Troy “Troyton” Hinds) get the party started. On the sultry “Secret Love (Creep)” (produced by ZJ Dymond), Martin sings “nah tell you fi sneak, but if you a go sneak, girl, sneak, come love me…and if your man find out and waan walk out, girl be with me.” His passionate vocals bring a renewed urgency to this well worn and (he admits) somewhat self-centered plea.

“Hide Away,” written and produced by the legendary Clive Hunt (whose credits include Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Grace Jones, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and VP Records’ Etana), is the first song Martin has recorded that he didn’t write. However he makes it all his own, incomparably delivering a swell of tender emotions over an irresistible, shuffling reggae beat. “Hide Away” is also featured on the soundtrack to the romantic drama “Destiny” released in late 2013, starring Martin as an aspiring singer attempting to navigate the music industry. The title track, produced by Frankie Music, isn’t the 1977 Peter Tosh classic (written by the late Joe Higgs, a mentor to Tosh and the legendary reggae group The Wailers) although it champions a kindred spirit of invincibility, in this case Martin’s unrivaled appeal to the ladies.

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin-Photo Credit Zev Schmitz.

“Tosh’s song had a militancy, cutting down inequality but I am saying a steppin razor is sharper than the rest, it is having so much confidence in yourself that whatever you are doing you are going to be sharp in it, whether it is with women, school work or how you dress,” Martin explains. “It has nothing to do with money, it all boils down to the belief in yourself, confidence and high self esteem.”

Martin has done just that with ‘Steppin Razor’ and as the late stepping razor Peter Tosh would say, he is consistently “well sharp.” Born on Valentine’s Day in 1987 in Jamaica’s rural community of St. Catherine, Martin made his mark in 2005 when he won his native country’s top televised talent show competition Digicel Rising Stars. With his tremendous vocal prowess, soaring melodies and proven lyrical ability, he has consistently churned out hit after hit – including “Cheaters Prayer,” Change Me Plans,” Take My Wings,” “Giving It,” “I’ll Be Your Driver,” “Paper Loving,” “Chill Spot” and “Look on My Face” – on local and international reggae charts.

Over the years, Martin has worked with reggae’s premier producers including Robert Livingston of Big Yard, ZJ Chrome of Chromes label, Shane Brown of Jukeboxx Recordings and Christopher Birch. He has a devoted fan base in Japan, where he released his self-titled debut album in 2011 on the Rockers Island imprint. He has also toured North America and Europe, including an eight-nation tour with platinum selling German Reggae superstar Gentleman.–OnPointPress.net.

 

 

Poet/painter/philosopher Dr. Earl McKenzie, opens exhibition at UWI 4/27

 

Dr. Earl McKenzie

Dr. Earl McKenzie, Poet, Philosopher and Painter.

Kingston, Jamaica, April 25, 2015: Dr. Earl McKenzie poet, painter and philosopher will launch an exhibition of his paintings on Monday April 27, 2015 at 6:00pm at the UWI Regional Headquarters Building, Mona. The launch will include poetry readings by friends and colleagues including: Ann-Margaret Lim, Dr. Velma Pollard and Trudy Schoepko. The guest speaker will be Lecturer in the Department of Government and fellow artist Dr Clinton Hutton. This will be McKenzie’s fourth solo exhibition of paintings and poems. He has also exhibited at the Caribbean Literary and Cultural Centre in New York.
McKenzie is retired from the University of the West Indies, Mona, where he taught philosophy. He is the author of eight books including two volumes of academic philosophy and two collections of short stories. In 2012, his multi-genre volume of poetry, fiction, essays and visual art entitled A Bluebird Named Poetry solidified his skill in connecting diverse genres of artistic expression. In her launch of the text, Kim Robinson-Walcott notes that McKenzie “is interested in exploring his own multidimensional creativity with abstract, intellectual curiosity.”

This exploration is evident in his paintings which, according to Edward J. Sullivan, Professor of Art History at New York University, “have the suggestive power of Giorgio Morandi: one of the greatest masters of the simple object.” McKenzie has won numerous awards for his work. In 2000, he was awarded a Silver Musgrave Medal for his contribution to literature, and in 2011 he received a Mico University College 175th Anniversary Award for distinguished service. His exploration of the intersections among genres of expression continues in the forthcoming publications of his first novel, a third collection of short stories and a memoir in 2015. The exhibition, which will be mounted in the lobby of the Headquarters Building, will run until May 8, 2015. The public is invited to attend.–OnPointPress.net.

Harlem Book Fair selects winners of first ‘My Book Selfie’ contest

Reader proudly takes picture with current novel.

Reader proudly takes picture with t novel currently being read.

April 20, 2015 (Harlem, New York) – The Harlem Book Fair (harlembookfair.com) has launched an innovative literacy-awareness initiative, My Book Selfie, that rewards readers who share their love of books. Using social media, the Harlem Book Fair is offering weekly rewards and prizes for readers who post a picture of themselves showing their favorite book or current read.

The goal of the ongoing program is to create an online presence where readers are acknowledged for creating and being part of a vibrant nation-wide reading community. The best book selfie will be selected from submitted photos on a weekly basis by the staff of QBR/The Black Book Review (www.qbr.com) and the Harlem Book Fair. Selected readers will be notified by email. No additional participation is required to be selected; simply take a picture with a favorite book and post it online at facebook.com/mybookselfie.

Reader poses with book about sports phenomenon Mo'Ne Davis.

Reader poses with book about sports phenomenon Mo’Ne Davis.

“There is a perception that we, as an often underserved community, have little relationship to reading as a way of life,” says Max Rodriguez, founder of the Harlem Book Fair. “They often forget that reading has long served as the means by which we have changed the course of our American experience. We have long been a nation of readers. I expect that children to grandma’s will post their favorite books. My Book Selfie will acknowledge us as a lifelong reading community that values entertaining stories, access to information, and the fun of reading.” View all pictures, join the community and win a book.

My Book Selfie (facebook.com/mybookselfie) is open to all readers with valid email addresses, new or existing registrants of QBR.com, or readers who are Facebook “fans”/“followers” of QBR.com and the Harlem Book Fair (www.harlembookfair.com). The presentation of the QBR Wheatley Book Awards will open the Harlem Book Fair on the evening of July 17th. The program blends awards presentations into an entertaining evening of music, letters, and stellar performances. The Wheatley Awards are open to industry professionals, independent authors and publishers, media, readers and the general public.

image

To reserve seating for the QBR Wheatley Book Awards, visit the Harlem Book Fair website or EventBrite.com. To submit your book for Book Award consideration, visit the Harlem Book Fair to download the Book Award Submission form.The Harlem Book Fair invites publishers, independent authors, book vendors, and artists to exhibit, promote and sell their work to its receptive audience. Applications are available online at www.harlembookfair.com. The Harlem Book Fair is a family event that is free and open to all. Join the #HarlemBookFair community by visiting Harlem Book Fair: follow us on Twitter @harlembookfair1 #harlembookfair #hbf and Harlem Book Fair 1999 on Facebook.–OnPointPress.net.

Vice For President EP provides variety, thoughtful lyrics

Vice for President

Vice for President

By Diamond Media

As President Barack Obama’s tenure nears its last leg, many of us are beginning to ponder: who will be the next Leader of the Free World? The usual suspects are bound to throw their hats in the ring, but this time around, a dark horse will emerge to represent the people. Armed with his animated production skills and sharp pen game, Vice Soulectric is amidst his campaign trail for POTUS, with his inaugural effort, Vice For President.

Vice for President

Vice for President

The six- track extended play release allows Vice to take center stage, where he’s the sole artist featured on the majority of the track list. Whereas “Treadmill Lifestyle” plays out like a tale of three different perspectives in which fellow buckeye, G. Huff connects with Vice and Beantown’s, REKS, to tell a well observed story, it’s the Guilty Simpson assisted, “Troublesome” that tells the ugly truth that’s plagued America, over a futuristic bass heavy banger. Vice continues to address the nation on “Hate Myself,” which points out the idiocy of tearing down one another for a vain personal gain.

 
“I really think it’s a shame that in these days in times more artists don’t dedicate more of their content to uplifting or enlightening the huge following of fans they have at their disposal,” states Vice, when asked about his decision to make a political statement for his debut.

Whether it’s “Brag Rap,” with Vice’s bold statement of “rapping only if you’ve got something to say,” or the EP’s closer, “Nine to Grind,” you’re bound to catch a bevy of beats and bars from the Ohio based phenom, who crafted this project to not only channel his message, but to showcase his skills on the mic, in addition to the MPC, all while helping to contribute towards Ohio’s undermined legacy as a bastion for Hip-Hop culture. Based on a platform of the need for both political reform and personal growth, Vice keeps his markets targeted on the very establishments that have proven to be our greatest obstacles. Vote, Vice for President.  Vice for President (EP) can be streamed at AudioMack ,SoundCloud and  iTunes–OnPointPress.Net.

Reggae singer Etana performed at UN to promote Ebola fight

Etana

Reggae singer Etana  received a standing ovation after her performance at the UN on 3/2/15.

By Tiffany Mea

On Monday, March 2, 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, reggae singer Etana and her band took the stage at the private concert “Stop Ebola and Build For the Future,” led by United African Congress, Give Them A Hand Foundation and the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation.

Etana  delivered a breathtaking set – performing songs off her latest album I Rise as well as her single “Better Tomorrow,” which has been chosen as the campaign’s official anthem. After final remarks from the National Chairman of UAC Dr. Mohammed Nurhussein, Etana returned to close the show with a grand finale performance of “Better Tomorrow” featuring Independent Artists United, where she brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. Starting this week, fans can buy “Better Tomorrow” and all the proceeds go towards children orphaned by Ebola and rebuilding the communities affected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

etana

Reggae singer Etana wowed the audience at the UN on Monday, March 2, 2015.

The song is currently featured on the iTunes. The “Stop Ebola and Build For the Future” event was hosted by NY1 News anchor Cheryl Wills with remarks from the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United Nations Vandi Minah, Italy Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi, TV personality and humanitarian Lisa Vanderpump, Dr. Howard Zucker (Acting Commissioner of Health for New York State) and former head of the NAACP Dr. Benjamin Chavis. The evening featured additional performances by Chieck Hamala Diabate and Band and Artists With One Voice, a collaboration of singers from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon and Mali.

The concert was made possible through a partnership between the UAC, GTAH, the Permanent Mission of São Tomé and Principe, the Permanent Missions to the UN of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and the Observer Mission of the African Union as well as numerous nonprofit and community organizations, health professionals and faith-based groups. The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation will act as the 501(c) 3 nonprofit fiscal conduit. A series of online video shorts highlighting the issues and featuring the song “Better Tomorrow” was presented at the event.

etana

Reggae singer Etana sang at the UN to stop Ebola.

“When I wrote the song ‘Better Tomorrow’ I thought of Africa and how rich and beautiful the continent is yet there are so many struggling and suffering people and only a handful of very wealthy people,” Etana said. “I also had similar thoughts of people in America, South America, Jamaica, Haiti and India. I wanted the world to feel like I feel, that there must be a better tomorrow. When I heard that someone was so moved by the song that they wanted to use the song to help people affected by Ebola I was overwhelmed with emotions. I am so happy to see the song doing exactly what I wanted it to do – help, heal and strengthen humanity. I am grateful to everyone participating in the mission to help make it a very successful one. One perfect love to each and everyone.”

“We are honored to be asked to support this noble effort. Etana is the right artist to represent and ‘Better Tomorrow’ is the perfect song,” said Richard Lue, director of business development at VP Records.–OnPointPress.net.

African Diaspora Int’l Film Festival celebrates Black History Month

image

New York, February 27, 2015:– The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is pleased to announce the Celebrating Black History Month film series at Teachers College, Columbia University from February 27 to March 1. The film series has an international spin that puts the notion of Black History month in the perspective of a quest to critically understand what the Black human experience has been and is in different parts of the world.

A selection of ten films from eight countries will be part of the ADIFF Celebrating Black History Month film series. The program will feature several documentaries about the Black experience in the United States. Stubborn as a Mule by Miller Bargerton, Jr. and Arcelious J. Daniels, an internationally award winning film that presents an eye opening depiction of lesser known historical facts and contemporary commentary regarding the call for reparations for African-Americans. In the process, the film disseminates USA black history that is not taught in most educational systems. Spies of Mississippi by Dawn Porter is an explosive documentary based on a book by the same name that tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy during the Civil Rights Movement.

Linking the US and Africa is the very popular documentary Bound: Africans vs African-Americans by Peres Owino, about the tensions between these two groups and winner of ADIFF 2014’s Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color. The screening of this hard-hitting documentary – that walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement – will be followed by a conversation with Director Peres Owino.

Three historic epic dramas that explore the fight for liberation by colonized and enslaved Africans are in the program: Ninga Queen of Angola by Sergio Graciano about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism, Tula, The Revolt by Jeroen Leinders, a film set in Curaçao in the Caribbean during slavery times and Sergio Giral’s classic Cuban drama Maluala, about the Maroons – the communities of escaped enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

Four documentaries complete the series: The program African Leaders is comprised of two documentaries that offer a portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Thomas Sankara from Burkina Faso and Amilcar Cabral from Cape Verde directed by Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Ana Ramos Lisboa respectively. The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabbaz is a musical documentary about Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae,’ a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Denying Brazil by Joel Zito Araujo is a documentary that explores the history of the stereotypical representation of Black characters on Brazilian TV and the negative impact of these stereotypes on the Afro-Brazilian identity formation.

For more information about the Celebrating Black History Month film series, to receive screeners and high resolution images please contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020 or e-mail pr@nyadiff.org. Festival web site: www.nyadiff.org. The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.–OnPointPress.net.