Some Videos From the Late Teena Marie.
this tribute is from Coates:
The Indomitable Blackness of Teena Marie
I’m sure some of the old-heads here, can come up with a corollary, but I’m having trouble thinking of a white artist whose relationship to black music mirrored Teena Marie’s. More specifically, I can’t think of a white artist who was more beloved by such a large swath of black people than Teena Marie. Here is how she put it:
Black people would always say, “I didn’t know you were White.” But people like good music. Back in the forties and fifties they made the race records where a group like The Temptations wouldn’t appear on the cover of the album. Mr. Gordy used the same concept with me for my first album. He said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is White? Omigod? Overall my race hasn’t been a problem. I’m a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what’s in your own soul.
Teena Marie died on Sunday, and on every Martin Luther there was a collective wail. That line—”I’m a black artist with white skin”—is the kind of comment that usually causes black people to suck their teeth and groan. But Teena Marie died with an eternal hood-pass. The term “blue-eyed soul” is presently being affixed to her, but it borders on disrespect. It”s like Negroes “liked” the Eurythmics, we “liked” Madonna and some of that Hall and Oates, but Teena Marie was beloved. She was not simply in that George Michael “Father Figure” category, she was of that Chaka Khan/Freddie Jackson/Jeffrey Osborne/Denise Williams stamp. You did not hear Teena Marie and say, “I thought she was black,” you said, “No, seriously, I’m sure she’s black.”
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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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