The so-called Genius awards have been announced by the MacArthur Foundation for 2017 and I’m not on the list.
That makes sense.
But Rhiannon Giddens is on the list. I first heard Giddens as a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They were performing at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. As much a historian and a sociologist as a singer, she and the Chocolate Drops performed music that demonstrated the power of the African and African American musical diaspora on American culture.
Plus she has a dynamite voice.
And Dawoud Bey is on the list of twenty-four.
Bey is a photographer. I have known of his work with high school students for a while.
Nikole Hannah Jones is on the list.
In 2016 I posted an interview with Nikole Hannah Jones on this blog: In the interview she argues that the data suggests that the only effective program for improving schools across racial and economic lines is integration.
Jones currently writes for the New York Times and in 2015, she co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting with the goal of increasing the number of reporters and editors of color.