Lena Horne

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Lena Horne was more than an entertainer. The one-time resident of Overtown was a symbol who paved the way for how America confronted race and celebrity.

Lena Horne was one of the last links to an era fading slowly from living memory.

A singer and actress of café au lait skin, lively eyes and an irrepressible smile, she came to fame in the 1940s, a time when African Americans could not vote in the South or gain admittance to most hotels, when southern trees still bore strange fruit.

Sananda Francesco Maitreya, (Artist Name: Sananda Maitreya) was born from the smouldering ashes of a former artists heart who had undergone severe trauma, lost his will and prayed devotedly to his creator to restore him to a new life.

After much meditation, in 1995, at the age of 33, earth years, his prayers were answered and he was given a new consciousness. The name given to this consciousness was Sananda which means 'one who walks with light', Maitreya which means 'among the sons of God'. He presents his music as POST MILLENNIUM ROCK because he feels that it is more inclusive and representative of the vision his spirit inspires him to share.

Oumou at 42 is the new Miriam Makeba -- Damola Awoyokun

For me, the lyrics are more important than the melody. I write almost all my own words. I also perform the classics of Malian tradition.  I draw a lot of inspiration from what happens in society.  As soon as I see or feel something, I write it down. I say what I want, and what I think, because I am a free woman. I believe that my music has had an impact on the life of African women. It’s true that when I sing it’s joyful but in amongst that joy I always take the opportunity to slip in messages that educate my nation. -- Oumou Sangaré

Bams, Recording ArtistA versatile musician that sings and raps, Bams is a Cameroonian recording artist based in France. A truly unique and gifted artist who blends rock, jazz, afro punk, and afro latin beats in her music. As a figurehead of a female hip-hop, Bams knows no boundary. A fantastic performer who is as passionate as beautiful, as elegant as musical, as lyrical and creatively free, Bams music continues to generate energetic excitement with a modern social and cultural message that stems from her Cameroonian heritage. Her creativity deliciously flirts with provocation with great charms and wits. Having been described as the most interesting and original female rapper in France, Bams is also a socially rooted artist and activist. With her work on the Respect magazine, she continues to explore new boundaries and reach new high.

“Bams is not a musician, it is musical. She tells her stories in symphonic voice. Bams is 35 and she writes. Songs. Texts. More choreography roles in theater it invests. In fact, if Bams is hip-hop: she tells her life, her daily life.” -- Gregory Protche

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