Art

Episode 61: Pink Floyd-Race-Rock Music

In this conversation on race, Durga McBroom shares her experience as a Black woman in Rock music. “Because of racist stereotypes in the US, it was difficult to get work in Rock music. There was the belief that all Black women should be in R&B. I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix or Donna Summer. I moved to the UK where I became a backing vocalist for Pink Floyd.”

Key Topics:

• Growing up in an  upper middle class Black family in Bel Air. Being stopped by police with her sister in their Mercedes because the cop didn’t believe that two Black women could have a car like that.

• Why it was easier  to be a Black woman in Rock in Great Britain than in the US

• Why Durga McBroom says that while these is racism in Europe it’s not as  entrenched as in the US

• How she is heartened by the response of so many white people today who demonstrate for Black Lives Matter

• Her willingness to engage with people who disagree with her and the importance of getting out of the echo chamber on  only one way to think

• What it was like to work with Pink Floyd

Listen to her new album with her sister, Lorelei McBroom  entitled Black Floyd

Check out their website, www.McBroomSisters.com

Durga McBroom was born on October 16, 1962, in Los AngelesCalifornia. After working as an actress, dancer and singer in the United States, she and her sister Lorelei McBroom worked with Pink Floyd as backing vocalists. She went on to have a long stint with them, being the only backing vocalist to appear consistently on all of their shows starting from the November 1987 concert at Omni Arena of A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour up to the final concert of The Division Bell Tour in October 1994. She also performed on their appearance at the 1990 Knebworth festival and has provided vocals for the Pink Floyd live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder, and Pulse, and the Pink Floyd studio albums The Division Bell, and The Endless River, as well as David Gilmour‘s 2001 solo tour.

Around 1989, McBroom formed the band Blue Pearl with record producer Youth, singing, playing some keyboards and co-writing all of their material. As part of Blue Pearl, she had several hit songs in the early 1990s, including “Naked in the Rain” (UK #4 in July 1990),[1] “Little Brother” (UK #31 in October 1990),[1] and a cover version of Kate Bush‘s “Running Up That Hill“, all taken from the album Naked, released in 1990 on the Big Life label. Subsequent singles included “(Can You) Feel the Passion” (UK #14 in January 1992).[1]

She provided backing vocals to the song “Don’t Wait That Long” featured on the James album Seven released in 1992. She also sang a duet on “Mother Dawn” with  Billy Idol for his Cyberpunk album, a self-penned song that was originally released as a Blue Pearl single. In addition, she sang backing vocals on several other songs on Cyberpunk, including a featured performance on “Heroin”.

In addition to her music career, McBroom performed as an actress in the movies Flashdance , The Rosebud Beach Hotel, the episode “Lullabye” of the TV show “Hunter” (with Gary Sinise), and several other less notable appearances. She also appears in many videos, including “California Girls”, “Yankee Rose” and “Just A Gigolo” for David Lee Roth, “Would I Lie To You” for Eurythmics, “Day In, Day Out” for David Bowie, and “When I Think Of You” for Janet Jackson.

In April 2010, she started to work with the Argentinian band “The End Pink Floyd” show in Buenos Aires, including some appearances with Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. In October 2011, McBroom joined her sister Lorelei to sing “The Great Gig in the Sky” in Anaheim, California with the Australian Pink Floyd Show.[2] 2017 saw her reunite with Gary Wallis, Scott Page, and Claudia Fontaine in several Italian shows. 2019 promises even more shows with her old band mates.

June 2019 kicks off with the first-ever live performances of Blue Pearl featuring both Durga AND Youth in anticipation of the long-awaited release of their new album.

She currently tours the world singing with various bands, and has recorded a second Blue Pearl album with Youth. Another album is currently in the works with her sister Lorelei (produced by Dave Kerzner), including some cover songs as well as original material. She and her sister Lorelei are also featured on Steve Hackett‘s latest album At the Edge of Light, being featured on the chart-topping single “Underground Railroad”.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 38: Not All Privilege is the Same


 

All privilege is not the same, nor does all privilege provide equitable access to luxury. There is the economic privilege that comes from having financial resources, wealth and position, and then there is the privilege that comes from being white in America. Racism can negate every other privilege when you’re a person of color in the US. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what you own or how many employees work for you.

Luis Martin, a brown-skinned Mexican American man, and his Dominican husband have enjoyed a lifestyle of economic privilege that few can afford. Luis is a well-known artist in New York whose work has been displayed in galleries across the world.

However, when you’re a person of color, economic privilege has its limits to where you can go. When you’re out in the world, you can still be targeted for your race and experience the inhumanity and hate of racism.

When Luis and his husband bought first-class airline tickets on Delta airlines, they assumed they could access all the benefits that came with those first-class tickets. However, when they tried to enter the first-class lounge-like every other first-class passenger, they were barred from entering and told that people going to Mexico were not allowed.

In this episode, Luis Martin shares his experiences as an artist, a brown-skinned Mexican-American and the role that art and culture play in building consciousness around conversations on race, racism, and justice and equality for everyone.

Luis Martin is an artist working in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Los Angeles California, Martin moved to NYC as a teenager. He received a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from The Fashion Institute of Technology. He has shown nationally and internationally in solo shows and group shows in Europe and Latin America. As a Curator, he founded and directed Parenthesis Art Space in Bushwick Brooklyn. Martin has worked with over 100 artists and curating shows that traveled to the Zhou B art center in Chicago and to Miami during Art Basel. Martin has collaborated with brands like Wix, Mount Gay Rum, and Braven, to create art-centric programming. Martin has worked as an educator with a museum in LA and NY like MOCA, LACMA, El Museo del Barrio and MoMA.
In 2018 he was named a rising star of the Other Art Fair by Brooklyn Magazine.

 

Episode 31 : Can a person of color exclude race and culture from their art?


Every Day Conversation On Race with guests Svea Vikander and Tramaine de Senna

Svea Vikander, artist, therapist and host of radio show Art Crush brings Tramaine de Senna to the show. As a white woman, raised in Canada and from a Swedish background, Svea look at was she can eliminate hate and stop racism, with a particular interest in using art to do that.

Tramaine de Senna –in conversation on race talks about being African-American, Chinese, Native American and European and ways in which it impacts her art

While a mixture of different backgrounds, Tramaine is also light skinned and sometimes mistaken for White. Not knowing her background there have been times when people have made racist comments about people of color to her, thinking that she would agree with them.

She has been influenced by the work of Adrian Piper who is also mixed-race and uses that in her art.

Tramaine shares how different forms and types of art are a result of history and people expressing their own history and culture in their art.

Other topics include:

  • Cultural Appropriation in art- what it is and what it isn’t
  • Cultural Appropriation used as a form of power
  • How race and being mixed race impacted her in the beginning – she didn’t think she could be an artist because she was mixed race
  • Do artists have to be poor?
  • The intersection of race and class
  • Being a person of color and an expatriate in Belgium
  • Role of white people in talking about race, not getting defensive, and not making everything
  • How to create connections across differences

www.Svea Vikander

www.SveaVikander.com

Tramaine de Senna

www.TramainedeSenna.com

Episode 30 : Cross-Race Friendships; Can They Work?


 

Chip Conley and Wanda Whitaker join me on Every Day Conversations on Race for Everyday People  to talk about the evolution of their friendship and bringing people together across race.

Chip grew up in an affluent white family in Southern California. He was the  founder and CEO of  Joie De Vivre Hospitalitythe first group of boutique hotels and is presently executive advisor to the CEO of Airbnb. Chip is also the founder of the Modern Elders Academy.

Wanda was raised in a middle-class African-American family in Washington DC. She is a healer, author and spiritual coach, and also on the Board of the Create Peace Project.

From very different racial and economic backgrounds, the two of them met 30 years ago in San Francisco, when Chip owned Miss Pearl’s Jam House a Jamaican restaurant where Wanda would hang out to listen to Reggae. They’re best friends and spiritual but not romantic soulmates.

I begin by asking each of them when they first became aware of race and racism.

Wanda:“I think, my first experience was when I was in junior high school. I was watching television and there was a commercial about an amusement park. And I said, mom, I really want to go, I want to go. She told me I couldn’t go because of the color of my skin and I was really sad. That was my first kind of experience with racism. And then I’d drive with my father to North Carolina and I couldn’t use the bathroom because it would say white people only.”

And of course in DC during the riots, I saw people taking to the streets. I also saw Martin Luther King speaking and watched on television civil rights marchers racism being attacked by dogs and police.

Chip: “I grew up in Long Beach, California. I was the oldest of three kids. Long Beach is actually considered to be the most diverse city in the US because of the racial mix. I was a white kid in a predominantly white neighborhood but the high school in my district was predominantly Black.

My parents could have sent me to a private school that would be all white but they said they wanted me to go to the public school. It was a huge high school of  about 5,000 students So I went there,  was one of the few white kids and was called curious white boy.

I was a culturally curious white boy, and a minority in the school
I wanted to know people who were different than me. I had the best time with my Black friends and Black girlfriends. Some of my white friends in the school were awkward around the Black kids, but I felt like I could really be myself. I also got to experience being the “other,” the person who was not from the dominant group in the school.

Knowing what does it feel like to be the other is a really important thing that everybody should experience. When you experience being the other, it makes it easier to understand and empathize with people who experience it on a daily basis.

Listen in to hear the rest of the conversation on race with Chip Conley and Wanda Whitaker.

Other topics we cover:

The need to sometimes be uncomfortable when talking about race, racism and other differences in order to later be comfortable.

Wanda goes to a deeper level about conversations on race with white people and how they have to move beyond shame and blame about slavery in order to move forward and take action to stop racism.

The Modern Elder Academy in Mexico, and issues of race and other differences.

How to get past defensiveness in the conversation on race, finding commonalities and making connections to prevent defensiveness and understand privilege and power.

Why diversity, belonging and being willing to make mistakes are essential in bringing people together to change

How to be curious, ask questions and be aware of personal bias.

Ways to talk about race and other differences even when you’re uncomfortable and the role we all play in eliminating racism and fear.

Guests Bio:

Chip Conley

New York Times bestselling author Chip Conley is a rare entrepreneur who has disrupted his favorite industry…twice. At age 26, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JDV) took an inner city motel and turned it into the 2nd largest boutique hotel brand in America. Inspired by the work of famed psychologists Maslow and Frankl, Chip’s books, “PEAK” and “Emotional Equations,” share his theories on transformation and meaning in business and life. His new book, “Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder,” was inspired by his post-50-year-old experiences as both a mentor and unexpected intern at Airbnb.

Chip was CEO of his innovative company for 24 years and sold JDV in 2010. He accepted an invitation in 2013 from the young founders of Airbnb to help transform their promising home sharing start-up into what is today the world’s largest hospitality brand. In four years as Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, Chip taught his award-winning methods to hosts in close to 200 countries. Today he serves as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality & Leadership. Chip also founded Fest300 to share his love of travel and festivals (now part of Everfest). And in January 2018, he founded Modern Elder Academy (MEA), the world’s first “midlife wisdom school,” where attendees learn how to repurpose a lifetime of experience for the modern workplace. MEA’s beachfront campus is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Chip is a recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and was named the Most Innovative CEO in the San Francisco Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times. He is the founder of the Celebrity Pool Toss that supports families in the Tenderloin neighborhood where he opened his first hotel, and San Francisco’s Hotel Hero Awards. Chip holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute, home of the Conley Library.

Wanda K. Whitaker
Hypnotherapist, Visionary Artist and Spiritual Life Coach
www.anchoredinspirit.com

www.wandawhitaker.weebly.com
(415) 760-7751 cell
Originally from Washington, DC, humanitarian, healer, artist and author/illustrator, Wanda K. Whitaker, believes that “the best relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”  A certified hypnotherapist, visionary artist and Spiritual Life Coach, she currently spends her time working with individuals and groups on changing beliefs and bad habits that are not serving them, conducting workshops on self-awareness, personal growth and development, creating art that educates and advocates and helping to guide others to lead a more holistic lifestyle with spiritual practices.

Her life spans years of community service beginning when she was in her early 20’s in Washington, DC when she co-founded, Inner City Inner Beauty Productions to build self-esteem amongst at-risk youth to serving and volunteering with various nonprofit organizations. She was President of Whitaker & Associates, an events marketing and cause-related consultancy business she started in 1991 and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Global Exchange, an international human rights organization. Today, she serves on the board of directors of the Create Peace Project.

She believes her life purpose is to promote brotherhood and awaken people to their higher selves and greatest potential.

 

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