“The Encyclopedia Of Newark Jazz,” Barbara J. Kukla’s New Book

I just got this today from the author, a former colleague of mine:

 

The Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz, set for release in late May, is Barbara Kukla’s sixth book about the people of Newark and its rich history. Her previous books include Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50, and America’s Music: Jazz in Newark.

Kukla’s latest work includes more than 300 capsule biographies of Newark jazz musicians and singers, most with photos. There are more than 400 photographs in all, many of which are historic, and a wealth of flyers, including one for an appearance by John Coltrane at a city club in 1950.

Newark’s own, Sarah Vaughan, one of the world’s most legendary jazz singers, is featured on the cover with James Moody, whose career is celebrated each November at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the blues and jazz singer Miss Rhapsody (1902-84) to whom the book is dedicated.

“Most jazz books tend to be repetitive, so I try to dig up new stuff about artists like Sarah, Moody, Wayne Shorter and Woody Shaw,” Kukla says. “This time I interviewed Sarah’s sister and Moody’s widow; former Newark Mayor Ken Gibson, who played in a band with Wayne Shorter in his youth, and Clem Moorman, who still performs professionally at age 101. He’s the father of singer Melba Moore .

Kukla worked at The Star-Ledger for 38 years, most of that time as editor of the popular “Newark This Week” section. For information about the book or to schedule a talk, contact the author at bjkukla@aol.com or (973) 325-370. The book is $29.99 per copy.

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I Heart “Riverdale” (Because It’s Unapologetically…….)

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…..a tricked-out “Dawson’s Creek,” which is funny, since “Creek” was tricked out Archie Comics.

I’m with the critics: more, much more.

Enjoyed the all-Black Josie and the Pussycats, and the Black “Pops” Tate!

And, um, boy, Archie, Miss Grundy and Big Moose, tho….. ūüôā

My Response To Wei Tchou’s Nation Magazine-Sanctioned, Not-So-Subtle, Attack On Three Black Opinion Journalists at MTV

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My friend Angel V. Shannon showed me this and this. She gets my public thanks.

My cent-and-a-half:

1) The first thing to remember is that journalism is a TRADE. Anyone has done it, anyone can do it,¬†and now everyone¬†is now doing it. So there are no real “credentials” to being a journalist. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a Howard University drop-out. So, I may add, was Amiri Baraka, one of the greatest writers on Black culture that Black America produced in the 20th century. In his introduction to “The Price of The Ticket: Collected Essays,” James Baldwin talked about how he didn’t even bother going to The New York Amsterdam News because those Negro college boys would have laughed him out the office. Tchou, interestingly, ignores the two-generations-old pipeline that connected Ivy League grads to jobs like hers. (By the way, Farai Chideya is one of those people; Harvard to Newsweek by 25 by 1994.) I guess in Ivy League Land, The Harvard Crimson is “experience,” huh?

Journalism schools were created because the industry was too lazy to train anyone, but needed bodies. I have three journalism degrees, and what I’ve learned from them professionally (from the first two) I could teach in 40 hours or less. As an American journalism historian, I can tell you with some authority (ulp, there’s that word :)) that almost half of the greatest (white, male) journalists of three-quarters of the 20th century had NO degree, never less a “pedigree” (although, some, like George Plimpton and Tom Wolfe, did).

Journalism became a profession in the 20th century because of the MASSIVE need to fill space between advertising. Mass advertising had taken off because of the transfer of people from individual farms to collective cities. The mass audience/market had been born, and content was needed to draw eyeballs (later ears, then, with Tee Vee, the whole thing) to ADS. It was the same reason that

2) “Objectivity” was created. It was created after the Civil War. It was created after 100 years of American viewspapers. Why? For advertising purposes! Creating an “objective,” mainstream media allowed most people to be comfortable with buying the paper to read the advertisements. So both the newspapers owners and advertisers made a pile of money, ,and¬†a WHOLE bunch of people got GREAT careers, travelling the nation and world for decades, with just a bachelor’s degree, decent typing skills¬†and curisoity.¬†They became “prestigious.” This is the real reason why “objectivity” was so cherished.

But what’s really happening here now, right?

3) The walls¬†between mainstream journalism and opinion/literary/cultural/”alternative”/race journalism have been permanently destroyed by the Web 2.0.¬† The segregated world of the Black press, white press, LGBTQIA press, etc. is, now that we are well into the 21st century,¬†getting both merged and, paradoxically, re-segregated. Dude at MTV wants his version of the old Village Voice, right? Well, the VV¬†had both investigative reporting and identity politics writing. The Nation is crapping¬†on the idea because it is representing all of the white male writers who now can’t get jobs–not because their jobs have been¬†eaten by 2.0., but by these “unqualified” Black people. There ain’t enough room anymore for all of dem anymore (and their core audience is dying off): ergo, the old “unqualified” sting. It was different in the mass media era because there were enough jobs for everyone; not everyone wanted to be Norman Mailer or¬†I.F. Stone¬†when they could be the next Edward R. Murrow or David Halberstam.¬†Whites had real choices, based on their priorities and proclivities. But now things that used to be done just in the “alternative” media have now become fulltime, prestigious jobs. Now, these elite white boys have to go teach English and #$%&–you know, the stuff we,¬†as Black people,¬†had to do all our lives, and still do (Rachel Kaadazi Ghansah, one of the greatest writers on Black American culture in the United States, ¬†is a public schoolteacher; she’s not on welfare, begging The New York Times Magazine, where¬†she contributes, to hire her.

I never forget that Albert Murray had to retire from TWO jobs (the¬†U.S. Air Force¬†and Tuskegee) before he was “discovered” in the late 1960s. It was the same time a 50-something historian and writer who worked, at various times, as¬†a floor manager (read: janitor) for NBC and the operator of a sandwich stand, John Henrik Clarke, finally got a decent professor job at Hunter College.

So it was amusing to read this article, and to find out that Ana Marie Cox, for instance, is now “prestigious,” when I remember her as a 2004 blogger who supposedly upset the political journalism establishment! LOL! (Here’s the image from The New York Times Magazine cover, which showed her as The Next Big Thing. See, she’s white, so that means she can play a new game to get into the old game.)¬†I remember her saying¬†in that 2004 cover story that her goal was to be at MTV. How wonderful when white girls’ dreams come true! I’m sure Lena Dunham is proud! LOL!

In the end, then, this article is about how elite whites are pissed that they can’t get or keep anything¬†for themselves without some “other” coming in and spoiling their frat party. So, no white boys: most of you will not be David Remnick, Thomas Friedman¬†or the white male Gwen Ifill. Boo-hoo-hoo. And having an Asian female writer buffer your racism¬†with an attempt as sophistication doesn’t take away this new truth.