Growing up, old-school soul connected me to who I thought my father was; years later, it connected me to the man himself

I used to think my father looked like Marvin Gaye. I’m talking about the Marvin of the ’70s, the What’s Going On/Trouble Man Marvin, the “I come up hard, baby, but now I’m cool / I didn’t make it, sugar, playin’ by the rules” Marvin. The denim-on-denim Marvin, with the…

Black Bar Mitzvah

Seattle-born Nissim started out a Black Gangster Disciple — then became a disciple of the Torah

Jewish hip hop singer Nissim Black seen performing during the Chanukah festival in Pittsburgh.

A trap beat fills the air, an African chant winding its way among the drum and bass. On the street, two groups of men approach each other: one in contemporary streetwear, the other clad in African dress and ornaments. …

Thirty years after his death, the entertainer has been forgotten or dismissed — yet, he dared to live his life in defiance of expectations

He stands onstage, a cigarette in one hand and a microphone in the other, impeccably dressed in a black tuxedo and matching bow tie. It’s the mid-1960s, and the nation is on edge. Black Americans are combating disenfranchisement in the South, often facing violence and arrest; in Harlem and Watts…

Gospel is one of the only predominantly Black art forms left on the American cultural landscape. Here’s why.

When Kanye West debuted his “Sunday Service” sessions at the beginning of 2019, performing gospel-influenced reworkings of his songs and backed by a Black gospel choir, it was met — like most Kanye West undertakings — with both praise and skepticism by fans and critics. It didn’t, however, come as…

Santi Elijah Holley

Santi Elijah Holley is a freelance journalist and writer in Portland, Oregon. www.santielijahholley.com

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