*Recording artists Juan and Lisa Winans say that faith and commitment to the sanctity of marriage have helped them through the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven challenging for many married partners. The couple has already reached the Top 5 of Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart with their dynamic new Dare Records single titled “It Belongs To Me,” featuring a guest appearance by six-time Grammy Award winner Marvin L. Winans. During this season, they’ve also come to appreciate their unique position as husband and wife and the impact their marriage can make. From the way they minister in song on stage, writing collaborations, or when speaking at marriage events, they’ve witnessed the grace of God empowering others through their relationship.
“It Belongs To Me” is more remarkable because it was recorded and released during the worldwide global pandemic, a time when many families are feeling the strain of illness, home confinement, and devastating changes to their income. The stress of quarantine living has led to a 34 percent uptick in divorce filings over the same March-to-June period in 2019, with 31 percent pointing to quarantine as a contributing factor, and 20 percent of those seeking divorce having been married for five months or less, according to a 2020 poll by Legal Templates.
Juan and Lisa, married for 13 years with a young daughter, say that faith, commitment, and scheduling self-care breaks go a long way to helping them overcome any challenges.
“I think COVID has presented us an opportunity,” says Juan. “What God is saying to people is that this is a moment to realign ourselves with His Word, to realign and reprioritize the things that we are giving our time to, the things that we are giving our emotion, our meditation too.”
“This is a season unlike anything that we’ve ever witnessed,” adds Lisa. “The stress is extraordinary, but it’s important to take a break and to take time to evaluate and not make any knee-jerk reactions based on where we are right now, but understanding that this too shall pass. If you can get through this season and then move into some therapy and more positive associations with your marriage, then you may find that you have good reasons to stay.”
Juan concludes: “Some days you feel more successful than others, but ultimately so much of this is about commitment: Our commitment to Christ, our commitment to our spouses not to give up when things get difficult. That’s where the love and that’s where the choice to love should come to the forefront.”
Maintaining ties to friends and a church family during quarantine can also prove difficult during this pandemic. “I would encourage couples out there to try to find community in the best way that you can,” says Lisa. “I know sometimes you have Zoom fatigue or you want to be isolated and you get used to the isolation. But I would say to fight for those relationships that you know support your marriage, that you know support your walk with Christ, and actively guard your marriage and actively invest in it. Invest in the spiritual life of your marriage.”
Juan, a third-generation member of the award-winning Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, along with his eldest brother, Carvin, and his cousins Marvin Winans, Jr., and Michael Winans, Jr. The group’s first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group, The Winans, which includes his uncles Marvin, Michael, and the late Ronald Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story written by his uncle BeBe Winans and also starred his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf.
Lisa, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters Andrea Kimmey-Baca and Danielle Kimmey Torrez. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life, and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom, “Moesha,” which streaming giant Netflix recently added to its lineup of African American classics from the 1990s and early 2000s. She also was a host of original programming for the Gospel Music Channel and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence.
Married since 2007, Juan and Lisa have each written dozens of songs for other artists. Together they also made an appearance on the NBC reality competition “Songland,” where they competed as songwriters to be mentored by the likes of Boyz II Men and others in their songwriting craft. Their April 2020 appearance garnered as much appreciation for Juan and Lisa’s incredible voices as for their compositional skills.
“It Belongs To Me” is available wherever music is sold and streamed. For more information on Juan and Lisa Winans visit www.JuanAndLisaWinans.com.
‘Tyler Perry’s Ruthless’ on Paley Front Row – Brand New Discussion with the Cast TONIGHT
*New York, NY – The Paley Center for Media today announced the latest selection to its acclaimed Paley Front Row Presented by Citi series: BET+’s Tyler Perry’s Ruthless.
This exciting program will publish just in time for the midseason premiere of the smash-hit series on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Verizon Media’s Yahoo Entertainment starting tonight at 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST.
“When Tyler Perry and BET present a television series you know it’s going to be riveting, entertaining and addictive,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “Ruthless once again proves why Tyler Perry is continuously recognized and praised for his trailblazing work.”
Ruthless follows the story of Ruth Truesdale who finds herself and her daughter entangled in the dangerous Rakudushis cult. At first an enthusiastic member, Ruth soon sees the cult for what it is, but must continue to play along with ways of Rakudushis until she can find a way to free herself and her daughter from this dire situation. The Paley Center will present a conversation with the cast ahead of the show’s midseason premiere on Thursday, November 26 on BET+. Joining in the conversation will be series stars Melissa L. Williams (Ruth Truesdale), Matt Cedeño (The Highest/Louis Tyrone Luckett), Lenny Thomas (Dikhan), Blue Kimble (Andrew), Yvonne Senat Jones (Tally), and moderator Tonja Renée Stidhum, Staff Entertainment Writer, The Root.
Paley Front Row Presented by Citi brings televisions fans all the best behind-the-scenes stories of today’s top television shows.
For more information, please visit paleycenter.org.
About The Paley Center for Media
The Paley Center for Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The Paley Center’s premier programming sponsored by Verizon can be viewed through Verizon Media’s distribution channels, including being featured on the Yahoo Entertainment channel, as well as [email protected] presented by Citi on the Paley Center’s YouTube channel and the Paley Center’s Facebook page. The general public can access the Paley Center’s permanent media collection, which contains over 160,000 television and radio programs and advertisements, and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry. For more information, please visit paleycenter.org.
The Lippin Group/Los Angeles
U of Kansas Professor’s ‘Groove Theory’ Explores Blues Foundations of Funk
*LAWRENCE. KS — What makes funk different from soul, R&B or rock music? Why is it worthy of academic study? And how do you write about it seriously while still capturing its musical vitality and humor?
Tony Bolden, University of Kansas associate professor of African & African-American studies, answers all those questions and more in his new book, “Groove Theory: The Blues Foundations of Funk” (University Press of Mississippi).
Bolden riffs on the etymology of “funk,” the epistemology of blue funk and examines avatars of what he calls “black organic intellectualism” from Duke Ellington to Gil Scott-Heron to D’Angelo. Funky women like Chaka Khan, Betty Davis and Meshell Ndegeocello finally get their due, too.
While he discusses the musical forms involved — such as James Brown’s groundbreaking rhythmic concept of being “on the one,” i.e., emphasizing the first beat of a measure — for Bolden, funk is a cultural aesthetic as much as a musical style. Contrarianism – obstinate opposition to conventionality, even within the confines of the Black community – is one of its most important characteristics, he asserted. So, too, are honesty and authenticity. And of course, there is the party-hearty “pleasure principle” propounded perhaps most notably by George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic fame.
“Funk is the outlaw among outlaws,” Bolden said.
In “Groove Theory,” the author also places great importance on the physical elements of funk, particularly dances like the Funky Four Corners and Funky Broadway.
“Whereas conventional Western philosophy has normalized the notion that the mind and body are polar opposites … sensuality is intrinsic to the epistemology of funk,” Bolden wrote.
As per the book’s subtitle, Bolden draws a direct line from an early form of African American vernacular music – the blues – to funk.
He writes in the introduction that “my central argument (is) that blues and funk are not just musical forms; they are interrelated concepts. And blues is ‘like the nucleus’ of rock as well as rhythm and blues, which includes soul and funk.”
Bolden said “Groove Theory” needed writing because no one had previously explored the roots of the concept of funk. He credits Rickey Vincent’s 1996 book “Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One” and a couple of others, but he felt more work needed to be done.
“My question is why?” Bolden said. “How do we explain the fact that the music came to be known as funk? And in exploring it from the standpoint of intellectual history, I’m exploring the history of the concept itself. And in the midst of that, I find out … the extent to which the term was controversial and there were real stigmas attached to it.”
Things changed during the Civil Rights Era, said Bolden, who is editor of the KU-based Langston Hughes Review.
“It’s not until the stigma of Blackness gets questioned that the stigma attached to funk is questioned enough,” he said. “The term is embraced by Black youth culture, and it’s the dancers who do it — and the people. It’s a street thing that happens.”
If funk was presaged by jazzers like Horace Silver (“Opus de Funk”) and Donald Byrd (“Pure D. Funk”) in the 1950s and early ’60s, it came into full, glorious flower in the 1970s with Parliament-Funkadelic topping the charts and filling stadium concerts. “Groove Theory” charts funk’s rise, along with the music’s continuing influence on contemporary Black music makers.
Sure, early rap sampled plenty of classic funk recordings. But funk’s ongoing influence is even deeper, Bolden wrote.
“Kendrick Lamar, Esperanza Spalding, Trombone Shorty, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Childish Gambino, Lizzo, Anderson Paak and other contemporary artists have engaged the concept in recent years,” he said. “This raises the question: Why? Given the precepts of funk — unvarnished truth; contrariety; unabashed pleasure; and implicit predilection for reciprocity—such interest may exemplify, on some level, dialectical responses to troubling conditions.”
KU News Service
Her Rolled Up Sleeves Represent the Work to Be Done: Illustrator Kadir Nelson on His Inspiring New Yorker Cover ‘Election Results’ (Video)
*Illustrator Kadir Nelson talks about capturing some semblance of hope in his new cover for The New Yorker’s Nov. 23 issue.
The image shows a young girl of color – a blue flower in her natural hair – holding an American flag and looking forward with a smile brimming with confidence. The image appears to honor both the generations of young Black girls who now see themselves in the nation’s first female and African American vice president, Kamala Harris, and the untold legions of Black women whose political activism was the sling-shot that got Harris and President-elect Joe Biden into the nation’s highest office.
“What’s most important is communicating the feeling behind the image, and, in this instance, less is more, Nelson says in an interview with The New Yorker about the image. “The sole figure forces the viewer to focus on the idea that I’m trying to convey. That idea is about hope and promise, but it’s also about work—the work it took to achieve the results of this election, and the work we’ll have to do in the months and years to come. The blue iris flower in the girl’s hair represents hope, and her rolled-up sleeves gesture to the work that needs to be done.”
“I hope the world will safely open up once again after the pandemic has passed,” he continues. “I hope for certainty and finality with our recent election and for a peaceful transition. And I hope that young girls around the country and the world will learn and accept that there are no barriers they can’t overcome. Sometimes all we need to know is that what we want to achieve is possible.”
Nelson is known for painting African-American icons who have inspired him, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., baseball star Jackie Robinson and Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
Below is a CBS News interview with Nelson from April 2020 about his work offering inspiration during this pandemic-filled election year.
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