Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1996:
Ella Fitzgerald was an amazing American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra. Performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Fitzgerald's rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. Taking over the band after Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start a solo career that would virtually last the rest of her life .
Signed with manager and Savoy co-founder Moe Gale from early in her career, she eventually gave managerial control for her performance and recording career to Norman Granz, who built up the label Verve Records based in part on Fitzgerald's vocal abilities. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretation of the Great American Songbook.
While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career.
These partnerships produced recognizable songs like "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Cheek to Cheek", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall", and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)". In 1993, Fitzgerald capped off her sixty-year career with her last public performance.
It is the greatest honor in bestowing the 1996 Hamite Award to this American icon. This lady represents some of our finest stock in the entertainment field. Gladly she left her beautiful music for our enjoyment and thanked goodness for YouTube. Sample a taste of her music below.
Fitzgerald would go on to win a phenomenal thirteen Grammy Awards, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fitzgerald died at the age of 79, following years of decline in her health. After her passing, Fitzgerald's influence lived on through her fourteen Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and tributes in the form of stamps, music festivals, and theater namesakes.
Listen to Ella Fitzgerald
President Ronald Reagan with Ella Fitzgerald after her performance for King Juan Carlos
I of Spain in the White House East Room
|How were blacks feeling in 1996?
Tommie Smith and John Carlos
Three Proud People mural in Newtown
DID YOU KNOW?
Ever wonder how the term "African American" came into existence? After the civil rights movement, blacks felt the need for a more accurate term to describe the race than colored or Negro, which was associated with much pain and suffering. In the late 1960s, and early 1970s, blacks no longer approved of the term Negro. In its experimental stages, the term Afro-American was used for a while but didn't last. Later the Black Power movement made us feel proud using black as the term in describing our race.
The song, "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud" by James Brown became an unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement. But it wasn't until the 1980s the term African American was advanced on the model of, for example, German-American or Irish-American to give descendants of American slaves and other American blacks who lived through the slavery era a heritage and a cultural base. The term was popularized in black communities around the country via word of mouth and ultimately received mainstream use after Jesse Jackson publicly used the term in front of a national audience. Subsequently, major media outlets adopted its use.
Coach Lenny Wilkens as
a player in 1968
| Sports in 1996 |
- February 15, 1996 - American boxer Tommy Morrison issues a statement that he has contracted HIV.
- March 1, 1996 - Basketball's Lenny Wilkens who is the winningest coach in the NBA, coaches his 1,000th victory.
- March 16, 1996 - Boxer Mike Tyson knocks out a tough Frank Bruno in the 3rd round to gain the heavyweight boxing title.
- May 21, 1996 - Baseball's Ken Griffey Jr. is 8th youngest player to hit 200 home runs.
- July 12, 1996 - Basketball's Michael Jordan signs a NBA contract for a whopping $25 million dollars for one year.
- September 26, 1996 - San Francisco Giant Bobby Bonds is only the second player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases.
Oh NO! Democratic National Committee Head
Killed in Terrible Plane Crash!
President Bill Clinton
Ronald H. Brown
| Political Scene in 1996 |
- 1996 - Bill Clinton an American Democratic politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 was inaugurated into office. He previously served as Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, and as the state's Attorney General from 1977 to 1979.
- April 3, 1996 - Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is killed in a plane crash near Dubrovnik, Croatia.
- November 5, 1996 - California voters pass Proposition 209 which outlaws affirmative action throughout the state.
Analysis: The journey of the American Negro has been a wild ride. Proposition 209 explains much about white feelings. When we realize people just don't give a crap about what happened in slavery? They figure there's misery in this world for all people. We're not getting paid for past wrongs! They want blacks to man up, become aggressive with brain power, be bold and don't whine, competing for what we want, even though the white stronghold they have is without a doubt to their advantage. Blacks have to be twice as good in all aspects of life skills. Are we up to the challenge? I know we can do it, and it will make the victory that much sweeter in knowing we achieved and soared like the Eagles against all the odds.
|| sLANG tALK in the 1990s |
- Sup - What's up
- Aiight - Alright, okay
- All That - Complete package, not lacking
- All that and a bag a chips - Complete
- Bangin'/Slammin' - Got it going on
- Beef - Trouble with someone
- Beeotch - Bitch
- Bling-Bling - Jewelry
- The Bomb - Perfect, out of this world
- Boo Ya! - In your face sucka
- Bounce - To leave, go
- Cha-Ching - Ring it up, gonna cost
- Cheddar - Money, greenback
- Chill Out - Relax
- Chillin' - Relaxing
- Churrin - Kids, children
- Crib - The house, pad
- Damn Skippy - You got that right!
- Dawg - Friend, term of endearment
- Dis - Disrepect
- Dope - Super cool, badd
- Down With That - In agreement
- Fine - The best
- Finna - About to do something
- Fly - Cool, something good
- Fresh - Brand new, cool, great
- Hella - Emphasis
- Hoochie - Fast, easy girl
- Hood - Your neighborhood
- It's all good - Everything is OK, under control
- Jack You Up - Hurt you badly
- Jet - Leave quickly
- Let's Role - Leave
- Math - Phone number
- My Bad - My mistake, I'm sorry
- O.G. - Original Ganster
- Oh Snaps! - Oh yeah that's right!
- Old School - Old way of doing things
- Paper - Money
- Phat - Cool
- Pimpin - Correctly done
- Po-po - Police
- Scrub - A guy that's lacking
- Straight - Telling the whole truth
- Throw Down - Fight
- Trippin - Worried about something
- Vibe - Feeling
- Wack - Terrible, not good
- Wangsta - A fake ganster
- Word - In agreement
- Yayo - Money
- Yo - Hello, short for "your"
| Movies in 1996 |
- Mad Dog Time - The story takes place in a mysterious underworld of swanky nightclubs where armed criminals listen to Rat Pack music and hold shootouts from a seated position, behind desks. (Richard Pryor)
movies that emerged in the United States in the 1970s targeted for black audiences
- Original Gangstas: action movie which brings together 1970s blaxploitation stars Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Fred Williamson, and Jim Brown.
Academy Award Winners::
- 1996 - Cuba Gooding, Jr. for Jerry Maguire. Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
| Famous Birthdays in 1996 |
- February 28, 1996 - Bobb'e Jacques Thompson an American teen actor.
- April 17, 1996 - Dee Dee Davis an American actress and comedian, best known for her role as Bryana Thomkins on The Bernie Mac Show.
- August 10, 1996 - Jacob O'Neal Latimore, Jr. an American R&B/pop recording artist, actor, and dancer.
- August 30, 1996 - Trevor Howard Lawrence Jackson an American film, television, and theater actor, writer, singer, and dancer.
- September 18, 1996 - C. J. Sanders an American football wide receiver.
- December 8, 1996 - Teala Dunn an American actress, comedian and singer.
Greg Morris as Barney Collier with Abbey Lincoln in Mission: Impossible, 1970.
Charles Moorehead Stokes
Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timme Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y.
Ronald H. Brown
Johnny "Guitar" Watson
| Famous Deaths in 1996 |
- January 17, 1996 - Barbara Jordan was an American politician and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. A Democrat, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first southern black female elected to the United States House of Representatives, and the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention
- January 19, 1996 - Arthur George Gaston was a businessman who established a number of businesses in Birmingham, Alabama, and who played a significant role in the struggle to integrate Birmingham in 1963.
- January 26, 1996 - Henry Jay Lewis was an African-American double-bassist and orchestral conductor.
- February 19, 1996 - Dorothy Maynor was an American soprano, concert singer, and the founder of the Harlem School of the Arts.
- May 17, 1996 - Johnny "Guitar" Watson was an American blues, soul, and funk musician and singer-songwriter. A flamboyant showman and electric guitarist in the style of T-Bone Walker.
- March 16, 1996 - Charlie Barnett was an American actor and comedian.
- April 3, 1996 - Ron Brown was the United States Secretary of Commerce, serving during the first term of President Bill Clinton. He was the first African American to hold this position. He was killed, along with 34 others, in a 1996 plane crash in Croatia.
- June 11, 1996 - Lonne Elder was an American actor, playwright and screenwriter.
- June 15, 1996 - Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
- August 11, 1996 - Charles McGregor was an African American actor, best known for his role as Fat Freddie in Super Fly.
- August 15, 1996 - Joe Seneca was an American film and television actor who had a lengthy Hollywood career, portraying bit parts in many major film.
- August 27, 1996 - Greg Morris was an American television and movie actor.
- September 2, 1996 - Alvaleta Guess was an American stage/musical theatre actress, both on and off-Broadway, but also played the occasional supporting role on television and in feature films.
- September 13, 1996 - Tupac Amaru Shakur also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor.
- October 16, 1996 - Jason Bernard was an American film and television actor.
- November 25, 1996 - Charles Moorehead Stokes was an American politician, jurist, and lawyer.
- December 8, 1996 - Howard Ellsworth Rollins, Jr. was an American stage, film and television actor.
Liberty, Justice and Freedom For All
It's true at one time in history; America was intended solely for white people, but not all white people. Most of America's founders desired only the fittest and smartest whites to settle here. The Irish, Italians and many more ethnic groups were considered low-life and not worthy to intermingle with the self-proclaimed superior whites, in fact, they were treated as harshly as the black slaves.
But within the time they changed their views and allowed lower class whites to have an equal say in the building of America, and of course being similar in color made it easy for these different classes to blend in with one another, and in time you couldn't tell the difference. A luxury that was impossible for blacks to attain.
But on the other hand, Black slaves were considered savage beast without the capabilities to learn and contribute to America, other than with their back-breaking labor.
Why did whites feel this way abouts blacks?
Before their arrival to America as slaves, they were very far behind in development and worldly intelligence. There were great African Kingdoms, but they were no match for the ruthless Europeans. African rulers failed to educate their citizens which would have been a huge undertaking because there were thousands upon thousands of different tribes and clans with their distinct language and customs.
Most Africans didn't know how to read and write and would pass their history down from generation to the next orally. They also believed profoundly in superstition and all sorts of foolish beliefs that didn't help them once the Europeans arrived allowing them to ravage and dominate the African populations completely. Whites were very competitive and chose to proclaim themselves superior to the blacks, instead of sharing their knowledge to help these uneducated Africans.
So from the beginning, the Europeans made this a race issue. Africans were so far behind in human development, whites thought very lowly of them, and since they didn't have examples and scientific techniques we have today to prove otherwise they did as they pleased with little protest from the majority of the white population. In fact, most whites believed blacks were half human/beast only because they didn't know any better.
But in time things would change and there would become many free blacks and also blacks in slavery who would achieve against all the odds of racism. Many whites began to realize that blacks were human beings and if given a chance could be just as intelligent as white people. The movement was started to get blacks equality in America to the dismay of hardcore white supremacist who refused to accept this undeniable evidence that all men are equal in ability.
Scientific discoveries would later determine they was no genetic proof that blacks were inferior to other races which would utterly destroy the superior white theory that had been preached for centuries. All that blacks needed was an education and an opportunity to compete and could do just as well as other races.
Although African-Americans were not immigrants but brought here as slaves, they had things in common because they also yearned for liberty, justice, and freedom. In time what made America so great was it realized it was wrong and attempted to change it's view so it could live up to the true meaning of liberty and justice for all.
But this wouldn't be easy because of many white people who refused to change their views and progress to a new era of love and cooperation for all humanity. They choose to live in the past where they enjoyed a comfortable, privileged life without blacks in the loop.
Since the races were compared to an inferior versus superior issue, many centuries ago white superior beliefs may have been a reasonable belief, with the Africans so far behind in human development and Europeans much more advanced. But with the successes of countless black Americans and other dark-skinned people around the world today, racism and hate have become an archaic, unreasonable and ignorant belief.
Simply put, for people who say they love America but hate certain ethnic groups who reside in her are lying to themselves. Their hatred is not based on anything meaningful. They hate America. They're not true Americans and completely fail to understand the real meaning of her and seek to destroy the last great empire in world history.
- RBL Posse (short for Ruthless by Law) was a 1990s gangsta rap group from Hunters Point in San Francisco, California. Formed in 1991 by Black C (Christopher Matthews) and Mr. Cee (Kyle Church). Mr. Cee was shot nine times and killed near his home on New Year's Day in 1996.
- Bruce Edward "Damian Dame" Broadus (September 13, 1966 June 27, 1996). Broadus died of colon cancer on June 27, 1996.
- Seagram Miller (1970 July 31, 1996) was an American rapper from Oakland, California. Miller was shot to death on July 31, 1996.
- Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting.
- Yafeu Akiyele Fula (October 9, 1977 November 10, 1996), better known by his stage name, Yaki Kadafi, was an American rapper who was best known as a founder and member of the rap groups Outlawz and Dramacydal. Kadafi was shot and killed.
The Civil Rights movement of the 60s was a total success. Now the second part of our journey begins. |
Now here's the problem.
For the last hundred years or so, white Americans have had every privilege simply for being white.
Unconstitutional Jim Crow laws instituted in the past had restricted blacks in every sense of the word.
Blacks were routinely treated as second-class citizens even after fighting courageously in every single American war, Revolutionary war included.
During this Jim Crow period, whites created a humongous stronghold and power structure for their families in America that still stands today. They completely understand how to navigate this power structure, and do it very well.
But after the 60s, blacks, on the other hand, found it difficult to penetrate and become a part of this American structure and ones that attempted were generally fought every step of the way, not by outright in your face racism, but a new one called casual racism which is just as harmful.
Ever since slavery ended, blacks who are of African culture didn't get much help assimilating into an American (European) way of life. After victory with our Civil Rights in the 60s, many didn't understand how to challenge this power structure in a productive and intelligent way growing frustrated and angry. Many were resorting to violence until an amazing man named DJ Kool Herc steps onto the scene to save the day!
DJ Kool Herc spinning records
DJ Kool Herc was the beginning of Hip Hop and gave many a positive outlet instead of violence, and whether older blacks liked it or not for our younger people would replace the guidance of influential civil rights leaders of past and become the voice they listened to for knowledge and help.
The media began to portray Hip hop/rapper figures as the brains of the black race. They are treated as wise ones and royalty. But they forgot or just ignored the many blacks who achieved with brainpower as college graduates, as opposed to artistic ability. Because of this portrayal, Hip-hop/Rap artist have without a doubt become an influential voice in the black community.
Many older blacks who were trained by our past Civil Rights leaders excellent moral guidance and teachings liked their beats but not the messages because it was filled with much hate and violence, especially on our people.
So when a younger black person who has been trained by these lyrics attempt to enter the white power structure workforce, they very seldom get through the front door, and it has nothing to do with racism, and if they are lucky enough to get that far they usually don't last, because they don't understand how to deal and work with people.
Don't get it wrong; Hip hop/rap music is a part of who we are, and we are all so proud of our ability to create something out of nothing that the entire world loves and imitates. But it also comes with a tremendous responsibility when possessing such great power and influence to help people and especially our own. Don't forget to teach our young that beats are good, but books are better!
There are many who keep the entertainment value of Hip hop/rap in perspective and understand how to maintain a balance, but there are also many easily influenced ones who fail and don't have a clue. So an important question arises. Will Hip-Hop lead the weaker one's in learning to live in the real world so we all can achieve and soar like the eagles or will it sell us out for the love of fame and money?
| Famous Weddings in 1996 |
- February 14, 1996 - Prince and Mayte Garcia were joined together in marriage.
- March 23, 1996 - Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Capt. Matthew Ekeinde were joined together in marriage.
- May 4, 1996 - Forest Whitaker and Keisha Whitaker were joined together in marriage.
- May 18, 1996 - Coolio and Josefa Salinas were joined together in marriage.
- May 1996 - Dr. Dre and Nicole Young were joined together in marriage.
- August 17, 1996 - Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell were joined together in marriage.
- October 4, 1996 - Evander Holyfield and Dr. Janice Itson were joined together in marriage.
- October 24, 1996 - Paula Abdul and Brad Beckerman were joined together in marriage.
- November 15, 1996 - Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Andrew Young and Carolyn Young were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Debi Thomas and Christopher Bequette were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Antwone Fisher and LaNette Fisher were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Macy Gray and Tracy Hinds were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Jackee Harry and Elgin Charles Williams were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Hakeem Olajuwon and Dalia Asafi were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Rocky Carroll and Gabrielle Bullock were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - R. Kelly and Andrea Lee were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Allan Houston and Tamara Houston were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Dikembe Mutombo and Rosario Mutumbo
were joined together in marriage.
- 1996 - Rick James and Tanya Hijazi were joined together in marriage.
| Famous Divorces in 1996 |
- July 15, 1996 - Shemar Moore and Sanaa Lathan were divorced.
- September 17, 1996 - Martin Lawrence and Patricia Southall were divorced.
- 1996 - Michael Strahan and Wanda Hutchins Strahan were divorced.
- 1996 - Tupac Shakur and Keisha Morris were divorced.
- 1996 - Vanity and Anthony Smith were divorced.
- 1996 - Diahann Carroll and Vic Damone were divorced.
- 1996 - Winnie Mandela and Nelson Mandela were divorced.
- 1996 - Apollonia and Kevin Bernhardt were divorced.
- 1996 - Lawrence Taylor and Deborah Belinda Taylor were divorced.
Slaves kidnapped from their homes years ago bascially belonged to tribes. Each tribe was as different as night and day to the next tribe.|
They each had their individual languages and customs. So upon arriving in America they had to create a way to communicate with their master and each other, so over time they developed a spanking new and unique language called African American Vernacular English, and it didn't stop there.
Each group had their defined drum beat from their tribe that was added to the new way of life in the New World, but with a new American twist with musical instruments they didn't have in Africa.
So to put it simply, soul or black music is a mixture of many different African beats incorporated into a new American culture. Think about how exciting that is, and it has to be African American music. It's admired all over the world.
We all originate from the same place so it doesn't matter if we're listening to early 1900s blues singer "Ma Rainey" or the great 1940s singers "Billie Holiday" and "Nat King Cole" down to the famous rappers of our time such as the two late greats, "Biggie Smalls" or "Tupac", it all sounds good to us because we can feel and hear that beat.
Many cultures have contributed to the American way of life such as German Americans who introduced the Christmas tree tradition, or Italian Americans with their delicious pizza, or Mexican Americans with the tacos and delicious burritos, or the English Americans with their mainstays such as baseball and apple pie. The list goes on and on, and to add to those contributions, and without a doubt, soul music has changed the American way of life, it is truly an original, and one of our many proud contributions to our home here in America.
Soul Train ran from 1971-2006
Mary J. Blige
Grammy winner Toni Braxton
David "Honeyboy" Edwards
| Music in 1996 |
Billboard Top Soul Hits:
- "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" Whitney Houston
- "Before You Walk out of My Life" / "Like This and Like That" Monica
- "Not Gon' Cry" Mary J. Blige
- "Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)" R. Kelly featuring Ronald Isley
- "You're the One" SWV
- "Always Be My Baby" Mariah Carey
- "Tha Crossroads" Bone Thugs N Harmony
- "You're Makin' Me High" / "Let It Flow" Toni Braxton
- "How Do U Want It" / "California Love" 2Pac featuring K-Ci & JoJo / featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
- "I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)" R. Kelly
- "Twisted" Keith Sweat
- "Hit Me Off" New Edition
- "If Your Girl Only Knew" Aaliyah
- "Last Night" Az Yet
- "No Diggity" Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre
- "Pony" Ginuwine
- "Nobody" Keith Sweat featuring Athena Cage
- "I Believe I Can Fly" R. Kelly
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Hammer
- Electric Slide
- The Carlton
- The Jiggy
- Tootsee Roll
- Rump Shaker
- Da Dip
- The Butterfly
- The Funky Charleston
- The Humpy Dance
Musical Happenings in 1996:
Blues Hall of Fame for 1996:
- George Walker becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, fir Lilacs, a symphonic work based on a Walt Whitman poem.
- February 13, 1996 - Popular rapper Tupac Shakur releases his 4th studio album entitled 'All Eyez on Me'.
- September 7, 1996 - Rap artist Tupac Shahur was shot in a Las Vegas drive by, and sadly dies 6 days later.
The Blues Hall of Fame is a music museum located in Memphis, Tennessee. Until recently, the "Blues Hall of Fame" was not a physical building, but a listing of people who have significantly contributed to blues music. Started in 1980 by the Blues Foundation, it honors those who have performed, recorded, or documented blues. The actual building for the hall opened to the public on May 8, 2015
- Charles Brown
- David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Grammy winners in 1996:
The 38th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 28, 1996, at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. The awards recognized accomplishments by musicians from the previous year.
Song of the Year
- Seal (songwriter) for "Kiss From a Rose"
Best Traditional Blues Album
- John Lee Hooker for Chill Out
Best Contemporary Blues Album
- Buddy Guy for Slippin' In
Best Instrumental Arrangement
- Robert Farnon (arranger) for "Lament" performed by J. J. Johnson & the Robert Farnon Orchestra
Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television
- for "Colors of the Wind" performed by Judy Kuhn & Vanessa Williams
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
- Shirley Caesar for Shirley Caesar Live - He Will Come
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
- CeCe Winans for Alone In His Presence
Best Gospel Album by a Choir or Chorus
- Carol Cymbala (choir director) for Praise Him - Live! performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group
- McCoy Tyner Trio & Michael Brecker for "Infinity"
Best Jazz Vocal Performance
- Lena Horne for An Evening with Lena Horne
Best Music Video, Short Form
- Cean Chaffin (producer), Mark Romanek (director), Janet Jackson & Michael Jackson for "Scream"
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
- Seal for "Kiss From a Rose"
Producer of the Year
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
- Anita Baker for "I Apologize"
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
- Stevie Wonder for "For Your Love"
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
- TLC for "Creep"
Best Rhythm & Blues Song
- Stevie Wonder (songwriter) for "For Your Love"
Best R&B Album
- TLC for CrazySexyCool
Best Rap Solo Performance
- Coolio for "Gangsta's Paradise"
Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
- Mary J. Blige & Method Man for "I'll Be There for You"/"You're All I Need to Get By"
Best Rap Album
- Naughty by Nature for Poverty's Paradise
Best Reggae Album
- Shaggy for Boombastic
Best Spoken Word or Non-musical Album
- Maya Angelou for Phenomenal Woman
Grammy Trivia for 1996:
- Both Mariah Carey and Alanis Morissette received 6 nods each, with Alanis winning 4 out her 6 nominations. Mariah, considered to be at the peak of her career was unbelievably and completely shut out.
- Rockers, KISS with Tupac Shakur made an appearance together to present the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal award.
- It was at this Grammys show that group TLC announced that they were bankrupt.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?|
It seems like it's been around forever and
expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool.
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living the good life.
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
By White House (Pete Souza) / Maison Blanche (Pete Souza) (The Official White House Photostream) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Senate Office of Richard Lugar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Young woman wearing a spaghetti strap top, a silver necklace, and straight-leg jeans
Double breasted power suit with large shoulder pads
A classic dark blue pair of Converse All-Stars resting on the Black & White Ed. Shoebox
Jheri curl hairstyle worn in the 80s and 90s.
| Fashions and Styles in 1996 |
The early 1990s saw a continuation of late 1980s fashion: women wore denim button down shirts, leggings, drainpipe jeans, colored tights, bike shorts, black leather jackets with shoulder pads, and skater dresses. Popular accessories included court shoes, cowboy boots, headscarves, leggings, slouch socks, Keds, ballet flats, and penny loafers. Leotards worn as tops with jeans were popular with young girls, teens, college girls, young women and women. A common outfit was to wear a skirt, dress shorts, babydoll or minidress with black opaque tights, white slouch socks and white sneakers especially Keds. Women's fashion in the mid 1990s became more feminine and form-fitting. Women tended to dress differently for each occasion. Both long and short skirts were favored, and loungewear generally consisted of leggings, large T-shirts, and baggy sweaters while at home or relaxing during the weekends.The most common look among young women was the short black slip dress worn over a tight, undersized white T-shirt. Among other fashion trends included lean pants, hot pants, black Lycra leggings, belted trench coats, and leather. Popular shoes and accessories during the mid-1990s included Wonderbra, Loafers, Mary Janes, suede sneakers, mules, clogs, knee high boots, jelly shoes, Go-go boots, black shoes, silver jewelry, dainty earrings and necklaces, conch shell necklaces,Slap bracelets, berets, straw hats, floppy hats, gold jewelry, and hipster belts. Navel piercings had started to gain popularity around this time.
Continuing on from the late 1980s, many young men wore tapered high waisted jeans with matching denim jackets, Stone Island or Ralph Lauren polo shirts with contrasting collars, short Harrington jackets, brightly colored windcheaters, Hush Puppies shoes, V neck sweaters, soccer shorts, pastel colored three button sportcoats, graphic print T shirts, tracksuit tops with a vertical contrasting stripe down the sleeve, sweatpants, shiny red or blue rayon monkey jackets, grey or tan leather jackets with shoulder pads, and wool baseball jackets with contrasting sleeves. Short shorts were popular in the early years of the decade, but were replaced with looser and baggier basketball shorts after 1993 when hip-hop fashion went mainstream. Hip-hop fashion went mainstream in 1995, with oversized baseball jackets, baggy jeans, bomber jackets, Baja Jackets, and tracksuits popular among young men as casual wear. Simultaneously, industrial and military styles crept into mainstream fashion, with machinery pieces becoming accessories. Baseball caps started being worn forwards again.
Southern hip hop provided a platform for Fashion designers and musical artists to collaborate forming an influential subculture of anti fashion and alternative fashion designs, especially the popular recycled clothing worn by Arrested Development and Goodie Mob.
Black leather reefer jackets and trenchcoats were also fashionable in the late 1990s.
The Jheri curl often spelled Jerry curl or Jeri Curl is a permed hairstyle that was common and popular among African American, Black Canadian, and Black British, especially during the 1980s and the 1990s. Invented by the hairdresser Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look. It was touted as a "wash and wear" style that was easier to care for than the other popular chemical treatment of the day, the relaxer. For African-American men, the cornrows (popularized by former NBA player Allen Iverson) and buzz cut were a popular trend that continued into the early 2000s.
United States Census for African Americans
in the 1990s
Lionel Hampton at the Aquarium, New York
Ernest Everett Just
|Our Community in 1996 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- January 7, 1996 - The 16th United Negro College Fund raises as astounding $12,600,000 million dollars for future college students.
- September 7, 1996 - Rapper Tupac Shahur is shot multiple times in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada and dies 6 days later.
- 1996 - Proposal 209 passed in California which states, the State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. A similar proposal passed in Michigan in 2006.
- 1996 - the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring African-American biologist, academic and science writer Ernest Everett Just.
- 1996 - Lionel Hampton was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1996.
- 1990s - The United States Population is 248,709,878 with a total of 29,986,060 being African Americans.