It’s Memorial Day Weekend and I have a song to share with you! This is your feel good song to get you up and moving and it comes in 2 different flavors – the new Teen Pop version by new artist Mary Rene Quarles and the original Soulful version by my mom, Dana Rice. Mary Rene and I have been friends since she was in 4th grade and I was in 5th grade. I’m so glad to have been able to sing background on both recordings!
And here’s my mom’s version:
I just know you’re gonna want to put this song on repeat, so grab you download at iTunes, or Amazon now in time for this weekend’s BBQ!
The time is so perfect for this show! Tara Ochs, who played the role of Viola Liuzzo, has created an opportunity for an open and honest look at what’s usually not talked about openly. Get in on the conversation about privilege, race and social justice by being in the audience on March 30th at 8pm. How easy is that? Bring a friend or neighbor who you’ve wanted to have the conversation with but didn’t know how! I’ll be participating in the Talk Back after the show that night. Get your tickets at www.7stages.org
So, me and my Youth Ensemble Of Atlanta buddies performed at an Anti-Violence Conference sponsored by Morehouse School of Medicine during Spring Break. It would have been fun to take a vacation, but our world is so violent right now that I think it was worth doing what I can to help stop violence.
You might not know this guy, but you’ll be surprised to know who he is related to. You’ve heard of Denise McNair, right? She was one of the 4 Little Girls bombed in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. When I think of her, I think about how she was just a young girl like me when that happened to her. She will always hold a special place in my heart. ♥
So when I met Terrell (not Chris Brown- I thought he looked like him) after my performance in the world premier of Akil Dupont’s musical Underground and he told me that he was Denise’s cousin, I felt so honored. Here we were at Underground, which tells the story of slaves trying to escape to freedom while singing spirituals to strenghthen and guide them along the way, and I meet someone who is living proof of the struggle for freedom and equality that African Americans have endured even to this day.
It’s like just when you think, “Why do we have to keep telling these stories about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement?” you meet someone who is a direct descendant of the people we have read about and heard about in movies. That’s when you know that we cannot just say oh that was then and this is now. We have to keep telling the stories so that we can become better people, a better nation.
I know you’re probably thinking how could this be the ONLY chance somebody as young as me has to do something. Well, it’s true this IS my ONLY chance to be in the 25th Anniversary Celebration of YEA as an active member. By the time another 25th anniversary comes I will be way grown and maybe MY kid will be an active member. So, THIS is my ONLY chance. That’s why it has to be a great show – and it will be! That’s also why YOU have to come, or send a congratulations card with a donation to YEA. I haven’t even lived 25 years so I know that’s a long time for anything especially for an arts organization.