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July 1, 2015

Why I Burned and Buried The Confederate Flag -- And America Should, Too

John Sims John Sims

My protest started by recoloring the Confederate flag black, red and green -- the colors of black nationalism. This was my way of arresting my own anxiety and fear of black erasure, both personal and collective.

Fire At Black Church In South Carolina Is Latest In String Of Blazes

South Carolina Church Fire
WLTX

Misty Copeland On Stepping Out From Behind The Other Swans

Misty Copeland
Facebook

MLK Statue Will Soon Stand Outside Of Georgia's Statehouse

Martin Luther King In Selma Alabama
Stephen F. Somerstein via Getty Images

R&B Singer Kem On His Battle Overcoming Addiction

Kem Sobriety
Cybelle Codish

Gary Younge: Summer Is Here And Somewhere In America, A Black Man Is About To Be Killed

Man Arrested Ferguson Protest
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Report: Intimidating Police Tactics In Ferguson Incited More Unrest

Ferguson
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Misty Copeland Becomes First Black Female Principal In American Ballet Theatre History

Misty

Obama's Overtime Reforms, Explained

Barack Obama Thumb
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

Two Sisters Tell ‘Heart Felt' Tale Of Taking Down Bad Cholesterol

Darcus Gates And Vernee Pacecheeks
Courtesy of Darcus Gates and Vernee Pace-Cheeks

Kid President Has An Important Message For Parents Planning Family Vacations

Kid President
YouTube

Nina Simone's Daughter Says New Documentary About Her Mother Gets It Right

Nina Simone What Happened Miss Simone
Netflix
Global Black Voices
 

Women Are Revealing The Everyday Sexism Of #BeingFemaleInNigeria

Tweet
Twitter

Redefining The ‘Traditional' American Family In 7 Stunning Images

Mamas
Lean In/Getty Images

Discover The LGBTQ Archive That's Helping To Make Black Queer Lives Matter

Schomburg Center
Christopher Stahling

Cops Coach Chicago Youth Baseball League To Foster Peace In Crime-Ridden Neighborhood

Englewood Youth Baseball
NBC Nightly News

21 Signs You Might Be The 'Real Racist'

Hold Hands
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Confederate Flag Parade Ends With A Hilarious Bang

Flag
LiveLeak

The Quality Of Health Care You Receive Likely Depends On Your Skin Color

Mixed Race Baby
Stockbyte via Getty Images

Washington University Made An Effort To Increase Diversity, And It Worked

12 Moments From The BET Awards That Made Us Do A Double Take

Tracee Ellis Ross
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

Ava DuVernay: Activist Bree Newsome Is A 'Black Superhero'

Ava Duvernay
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

Death Row Exonoree Released Last Year Dies Of Lung Cancer

Glenn Ford
Chris Granger / Nola.com / Landov

John Lewis, Civil Rights Veteran, Asks Black Clergy To 'Fix' Voting Rights Act

John Lewis
Kris Connor via Getty Images

At Least 5 Black Churches Have Been Destroyed By Fire In The Past Week

Charlotte Fire Dept
Twitter/Charlotte Fire Dept

Supreme Court Will Re-Hear Texas Affirmative Action Case

Supreme Court Building Us
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

NAACP Leader Compares Woman Who Removed Confederate Flag To Rosa Parks

Bree Newsome Rosa Parks
YouTube

4 Reasons Why Putting A Woman On The $10 Bill Isn't As Great As It Seems

Jessica
Hulu

Nicki Minaj Wins Big At 2015 BET Awards

Nicki Minaj
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Incredible Ways Art Is Helping Charleston Heal

Charleston Art
Adam Chandler

Joe Biden Makes Surprise Visit To Charleston Church

Joe Biden
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Why Charleston's Church Massacre Is An Act Of Terrorism

Shooting
Richard Ellis via Getty Images
HuffPost Reports

Investigation Underway Of Another Fire At A Black Church In The South

Firefighter Hose
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NASCAR Chief: Ban Confederate Flag

Nascar Confederate Flag
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Woman Removes Confederate Flag In Front Of South Carolina Statehouse

South Carolina Confederate
Win McNamee via Getty Images

Under The Rainbow -- Black, Queer And Not In The Mood For Pride

Joseph Coco
Courtesy of Joseph Coco

Episcopal Church Elects Its First Black Presiding Bishop

Episcopal Church Salt Lake City
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How Sheryl Lee Ralph Plans To Make More People Aware Of HIV

Sheryl Lee Ralph National Hiv Testing Day
Sean Black

Meet The 63rd Black Woman In American History With A Physics Ph.D.

Chanda Prescodweinstein
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Where You Live Helps Determine Whether You'll Survive HIV/AIDS

Hiv Test
RODGER BOSCH via Getty Images

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Misty Copeland's First Ballet Teacher Will Give You Many Feels Today

Misty Copeland
Facebook

Here Comes The Dunk. There Goes The Backboard And Rim.

Dunk
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8 Things Women Have Successfully Fought For Since NOW Was Founded

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Kanye West vs. Freddie Mercury On 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Is No Contest

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N.W.A. Reunites For First Live Performance In 26 Years

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BET Awards Viewership Dips From 2014 Show

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Marlon Wayans Wants To Make 'White Chicks 2'

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Lee Daniels Inks News Deal With Fox

Lee Daniels
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NeNe Leakes Quits 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta'

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'Dope' Star Tony Revolori Is Your New Favorite Latino Nerd

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14-Year-Old Mo'ne Davis Is Taking Over the Sports World

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13 Women On The Politics Of Paying On The First Date

Wallet
diawka

Definitive Proof Haters Should Not Mess With Zendaya (Again)

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Kanye West Covered 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' And Nothing Else Really Matters

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Kobe Bryant Forgives Rape Tweet By Lakers Draft Pick

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Rapper DMX Arrested In NYC Over Unpaid Child Support

Dmx
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2015 Class Of Oscar Voters Adds Diversity

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Dyana Williams: Who Is She And Why Is She 'The Godmother Of Black Music Month'?

Dyana Williams Black Music Month
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Two NBA Draftees Learn The Hard Way That Their Tweets Are Public

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Warren Sapp Charged With 3 Counts Of Domestic Abuse

Warren Sapp
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Lupe Fiasco Explains Why The Concept Of White Supremacy Is False

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Taye Diggs Is A Glittering, Gorgeous Hedwig In First-Look Photo

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Michael Jackson, King Of Pop, Wanted To Be An Actor

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Nick Gordon Sued For Allegedly Abusing & Stealing From Bobbi Kristina Brown

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Nas Shares Passionate Instagram Post About Racial Inequality

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Bobbi Kristina Brown Now In Hospice Care

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Fashion Retailer Faces Allegations Of Racial Bias

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10. Marvin Gaye,'Heard it Through the Grapevine' (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
Though Gladys and her Pips had a huge hit with song in 1967, Marvin's cover a year later is known as the definitive version and one of the late soul man's most enduring classics. Here, he's performs it live in all his ruffled-shirt, red-tux wearing brilliance.





9.Ray Charles,'Night Time is the Right Time' (Nappy Brown)

Charles' classic 1958 remake had a resurgence in interest when the Huxtable kids performed it on 'The Cosby Show' in this episode of the popular sitcom. But the original version was recorded by Nappy Brown who recorded the hit song in 1955.





8. Boyz II Men, 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye' (GC Cameron)
The Philadelphia R&B boy band showed they could really blow with this 1991 a capella remake of '70s soul singer G.C. Cameron's original tune. Cameron's version can be heard in 1975 coming of age film, 'Cooley High,' but the Boyz rendition is the current R&B standard heard often at funerals, after a break-up and during other sad occasions.





7. Whitney Houston, 'All The Man That I Need' (Linda Clifford)

When this R&B diva was near the top of her wailing powers in 1991, she released this remake of Clifford's 1980s slow jam, which Sister Sledge also had covered in 1982. But here, Whitney gives the song an elegant upgrade, not just a surface shine and buff.





6. Mary J. Blige, 'I'm Going Down' (Rose Royce)

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has covered a few R&B artists including Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan but here she really stands out, adding her own sad-girl touches to this song which was originally recorded by R&B band Rose Royce in 1977. Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs shows his early producing chops on this remake, which appeared on Blige's 1994 album, 'My Life.'





5. Alicia Keys, "If I Was Your Woman' (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
Legend has it that Gladys Knight didn't even like this tune when producers from Berry Gordy's Motown Records label approached her to sing it. Thankfully, she relented and the song shot up the charts in 1971. Here, Alicia Keys makes the song about devout love her own in this 'Unplugged' performance, combining power, grace and heartfelt emotion in a way that could only make Gladys proud.




4. Chaka Khan, 'I Feel For You' (Prince)
After Chaka left Rufus to embark set out on her own, she released this title track to her 1984 solo debut, which was actually a cover of a 1979 tune by Prince. (The Purple One would write many songs for her in subsequent years.) Chaka added heavy doses of rap (that's Melle Mel on the intro saying "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaka Khan-Chaka Khan"), Steve Wonder on harmonica and dancing from b-boy Shabba-Do from the hip-hop drama 'Breakin' in accompanying music video.






3. Lenny Kravitz, 'American Woman' (The Guess Who)

An early knock against Lenny was that he was bent on sounding retro but lacked that special oomph in this own music to make him a truly great rocker. With this cover of this vintage 1970 track by Canada's The Guess Who, Lenny showed that he could tackle the classics and not lose himself in the process. He actually looks pretty badass in this video too.






2. Maxwell, 'This Woman's Work' (Kate Bush)

R&B heartthrob Maxwell's falsetto nails the somber valleys and peaks that British songstress Kate Bush touched on in the 1989 original song from her album, 'The Sensual World.' Unlike many of today's soul men, Maxwell's interpretive skills show that he understands how to express melancholy and longing without coming off like a schlockmeister. He's pure class.





1. Fugees, 'Killing Me Softly' (Roberta Flack)
Though this song is credited to the Fugees and appears on the trio's second album, 'The Score,' Lauryn Hill deserves every accolade she's received for her 1995 take on Flack's 1973 hit which was originally titled, "Killing Me Softly With His Song.' The hip-hop backing beat and her soaring vocals do the exact thing that every successful cover song should do: It makes you almost forget that the original existed. And that says a lot given that Flack's version won three Grammy awards during its chart-topping heyday.
Tagged as: alicia keys, black music month, BlackMusicMonth, ChakaKhan, GladysKnight, Kate Bush, lauryn hill, Lenny Kravitz, maxwell, prince, The Fugees, thewho

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