“White people and white people and white people everywhere being successful at music and being successful at money and being successful at having fun. How glorious it is. What a reward for all of the hate and difficulty and hard work that black people have had to endure.” — Dave Chappelle
I recently left the car in traffic and debated walking to the grocery store when I saw an “S” sign on the door. I considered my mother’s warning to my siblings when they drove away from the door. “Next time you want to die, go for the big one.” I then made a funny face and then cried as I looked at the grocery lists and my husband rifled through them to find the prize. The day after the Freedom Tower was lit up in blue and white and I walked the blocked streets in celebration of my freedom.
Two decades later, the last week of June proved again the best and worst of the Grammy Awards. The nomination for album of the year features a diversely diverse group, with seven female artists from the group Kendrick Lamar, Alessia Cara, Lorde, Jay-Z, Khalid, and four others. (Ed Sheeran is another woman in this group.) The only nod for a white guy, Chance the Rapper, comes in for best new artist.
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The only “white people” in the ceremony were the hosts, Guillermo Del Toro and Lady Gaga, as well as executive producer Laura Marling. Del Toro is a Mexican-American filmmaker who voices a character in the Pixar movie “Coco.” It’s a story about Mexico’s cultural traditions as they evolved after the Chiricahua Apaches were driven out by the conquerors of Texas.
Gaga, who is Italian-American, starred in and directed the musical drama “American Horror Story.” She’s also the sole winner in the ceremony’s history to have won all four major categories of pop song, album, record and song of the year. The Oscars are also truly mixed in their lack of diversity this year, with many white actors and only one woman nominated in any acting category.
Though the Grammy nominations are often riddled with racial divides, the ones for the top awards this year are a little less so. It’s an especially rare sight to see seven women nominated for album of the year, at the very least twice.