Happy Black History Month!!
It is that time of year to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and strides that black Americans have made over the years.
The month got off to an unfortunate start with this morning’s breaking news that “Soul Train” icon Don Cornelieus,75, passed away due to what law enforcement is calling an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
A New York Times article on Cornelieus’ death can be found by clicking this link.
His passing comes as a sad shock, but instead of simply mourning his loss, we should also celebrate his life and the musical and entertainment joy he brought to our lives.
I remember spending many Saturday afternoons as a kid in the late 80’s/90’s sitting in front of the TV dancing and singing along with the performers in front of our living room TV while watching the show.
Many people older than me also share the same memories.
The equivalent of white America’s “American Bandstand”, “Soul Train” was one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world.
Countless artists gained exposure to musicians like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Rick James. Elton John, David Bowie, Gladys Knight and the Pips and even DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Don Cornelius, the producer and host of the show, was a former disc jockey and news reporter.
He created the show in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV and served as its writer, producer and host.
It stayed on air for 35 years, even after he passed the hosting reins to Shemar Moore in the 90’s. Cornelius stopped hosting the show in 1993, and “Soul Train” ceased production in 2006.
The show also helped to showcase young dancers.
I remember learning many “old-school” moves from watching, as did my parents.
“Soul Train” gave black America the famed Soul Train line that is performed at most parties, weddings and get together everywhere.
“Soul Train” will forever be a part of black history.
So I say with great remembrance, Love. Peace. And Soooooouuuullll!!!
On another note, The Advocate kicked off its coverage of Black History Month with a “10 little known black history facts “ of The Crossroads in today’s paper. If you haven’t done so already, check it out. We’re excited to bring you a full month of special Black History Month coverage. So stay tuned !
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