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Nina Kennedy Walks the Red Carpet at the GLAAD Media Awards

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  Nina Kennedy The stars came out for the 33rd GLAAD Media Awards at the New York Midtown Hilton May 6th, the first GMAs since 2019. Our own Nina Kennedy was invited to walk the Red Carpet as the 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for her book  Practicing for Love: A Memoir .  Cynthia Nixon Other celebrities on the Red Carpet included Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss. Cynthia Nixon remembered Nina from the NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) Muse Awards, and embraced her warmly. Actor Judith Light came to receive the  Excellence in Media Award, and was introduced by Oscar winner and star of West Side Story Ariana DeBose. Kandi Burruss The Red Carpet was also graced with the presence of the new White House Press Secretary  Karine Jean-Pierre. GLAAD Board Chair Pamela Stewart introduced Secretary Jean-Pierre who received a rousing standing ovation. "Thank you, family," were her first words as she addressed the

Gateways Music Festival Orchestra with Jon Batiste at Carnegie Hall

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You might not have known it if you get your news from the New York Times or other major news outlets, but history was made last Sunday afternoon on the Carnegie Hall stage. In a sold-out concert, an all-black orchestra performed under conductor Anthony Parnther, with pianist Jon Batiste as soloist in his own composition titled I Can . The program included compositions by Florence Price, George Walker, and Johannes Brahms. The concert concluded with James V. Cockerham's Fantasia on "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a signature piece for the ensemble, whose distinguished members hail from leading orchestras and conservatory teaching faculties nationwide. Jon Batiste "Why an all-black orchestra?" you ask. Well, the sad reality is that most of these extraordinarily talented musicians are not hired by the vast majority of American symphony orchestras. "Why?" again, you ask. The answer: American racism. The concert was broadcast by WQXR 105.9 in New York, and st

"Practice What You Preach" by Nina Kennedy

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Practice What You Preach From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search Practice What You Preach Author        Nina Kennedy Country      United States Language   English Subject       Autobiography, American                                       history,  classical music,  sexism,                             homophobia, race relations,                                   filmmaking Published   January 2022 Publisher    RoseDog Books, an imprint of                               Dorrance Publishing                                              Company Media type  Print Pages          363 ISBN             978-1-63661-011-5                Practice What You Preach: Book 2 of the Practicing for Love Series  is the continuation of the 2019 nonfiction autobiography  written by  Nina Kennedy  and published by  RoseDog Books . It is about her life and experiences as a former child prodigy and the daughter of college professors, her car

The Greatest Love: Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford

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  I hesitated to read Robyn Crawford's book A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston , primarily because I was preoccupied with the launch of my own book. But when I read recently that Whitney Houston's final recording contract was worth 100 million dollars, I dropped everything to rush out and grab that book. Evidently, 100 million dollars was not enough to keep Whitney alive. Hers was a story of addiction. She had her first taste of cocaine when she was only 14. It is so tragic that she never received the help she needed to get healthy and stay alive. She was vilified in the media as the good-girl-gone-bad who let her talents go to waste. But Robyn Crawford, who witnessed her meteoric rise, felt the need to set the record straight and "lift Whitney up" after the media chose to put their energy into tearing her down. Imagine the stress and pressure Whitney must have felt knowing that she was losing her voice, after having been paid a hundred million dollars for h

15th Annual PrideIndex.com Esteem Awards Finalists

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  Chicago, April 7, 2022 – Today, we’re excited to announce that four organizations and fourteen individuals have been selected to be honored at the 15th Annual  Esteem Awards . A committee of past finalists has chosen this year’s recipients.  Award finalist will be celebrated at an in-person event on Saturday, July 2, at Sidetrack 3349 N. Halsted in Chicago from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Author/Activist  Michelle E. Brown  will host this exciting celebration of honor. Comedian  Sampson McCormick  will provide the entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.  Following is a list of Esteem Awards finalists:  Outstanding Service, Male:   Ken Meija-Beal , Community organizer and Chair of the DuPage County Democratic Party.  Outstanding Service, Female:  Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle, Activist and Co-Owners,  Nobody’s Darling .   Outstanding Service, Transgender:   Zahara Bassett , Founder/Chief Executive Officer at Life is work.  Future Leaders:  Shakus Silas, Program Manager for 

"Practice What You Preach" by Nina Kennedy

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  The second book of the Practicing for Love series, Practice What You Preach , begins with my return to the United States after having lived for six months on the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye. My then-partner "Helga" is an Austrian citizen, and we had lived in Vienna for several years. When we came to the United States, she could only stay for three months at a time with a tourist visa, so we found ourselves needing to cross the border every three months so that she could receive a new stamp in her passport. As we get settled in New York, I watch in amazement as she is able to find work and income in ways that I have never experienced. Even though she was a foreigner, the most important thing to her employers was that she is white. It is during this relaxed time that I receive word of my mother's passing. Helga accompanies me to the city of my birth, Nashville, for the funeral. It is the first time she meets my father, and the first time she witnesses the full exte

Some Thoughts on Nella Larsen's "Passing"

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Passing by Nella Larsen, recently released as a film by celebrated actress/director Rebecca Hall, has made me think deeply about my racial identity. Though I was born in a segregated Colored hospital, raised in a black neighborhood, attended segregated public schools, sat in a black church Sunday mornings, the fact remains that I never felt loved by anyone black. I suppose, when they looked at me, my parents were reminded of the pain of their own childhoods. I felt ostracized by the kids at school, and was bullied mercilessly because of my light skin and "correct" speech. My mother would straighten my hair to make me look whiter, but I never thought that she intended to enable me to "pass." My father was visibly blacker than she was, and everyone knew that he was my father. But I never got the impression that she intended for me to marry a white man. In fact, I never got the impression that she intended for me to marry a man at all. She wanted to remain the center

Nina Kennedy Presents Reading at Stonewall House

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  In her first public reading since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nina Kennedy read from her memoir Practicing for Love in the SAGE Center at the Stonewall House in Brooklyn this week. Stonewall House is the largest LGBTQ+ friendly elder housing development in the country and New York City's first LGBTQ+ Friendly Elder Housing. The property name "Stonewall House" is in honor of the 1969 uprising that is often cited as the beginning of the modern LGBT liberation movement. The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising was celebrated in 2019. Residents were treated to Nina's music video of Schumann's "Widmung," filmed in Vienna, Austria. Then she read from the book tales of coming out, in addition to some of the history of Fisk University, where her parents served as members of the piano faculty. She also shared the story of appearing as piano soloist with the Mississippi Symphony, and learning that the state legislature had voted to abolish slavery

NPR F*cks Up!

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For all of you who have sent complaints asking why my interview was cut from a recent program on "All Things Considered," THANK YOU!! I gave an extensive interview to NPR on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the first fundraising tour of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and was told that clips of my interview would be used in addition to current director Paul Kwami's interview with Audie Cornish. We listened with rapt attention as Cornish chatted with Kwami, and were shocked when the segment ended and none of my interview was used. I had gone into much more history and detail on the group than Kwami did, and was deeply disappointed that this history was not included in the program. Here again, a man's voice is given credence over a woman's. To add insult to injury, now if you Google me you'll find that it is all over the Internet that I was supposed to be on this program. My name is inextricably linked with NPR online. For those of you who haven't contact

"Fire Shut Up in My Bones" at the Metropolitan Opera

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All of us have watched Charles Blow's success with admiration and respect, so you can imagine how thrilled we were to learn that his 2016 memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones was the inspiration for the libretto of the new opera by Terence Blanchard, that had its Metropolitan Opera premiere to open the 2021-2022 season last Monday night. Most of us know of Blanchard's success via his film scores and his performances as a jazz trumpeter. The audience at the Met last was treated to several jazz numbers, the music of a gospel choir, and a "step" dance by pledgees of an HBCU fraternity. Charles Blow Blow's memoir is the story of his return to the town of his birth to seek revenge against an older cousin who had raped him as a child. The opera opens with him in his car and a gun in the passenger seat. The story is told via a series of flashbacks culminating in the moment when he must decide whether to murder his cousin and potentially go to prison, or learn to live with th

Nina Kennedy Interviewed for Nashville Public Radio

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Nina Kennedy (photo by Kathy Ray) In anticipation of the Jubilee Day celebrations scheduled for next month, a producer for Nashville Public Radio reached out to Nina Kennedy to ask about a possible interview to be used as part of a project in recognition of "Jubilee Day," Fisk University's Founders' Day, on October 6th. Classical music journalist  Colleen Phelps  is  on a team at WPLN-FM producing a special for the upcoming 150th Jubilee Day, and is currently working on online content that will be released related to the special .  During a short text dialogue, Colleen revealed that she had been watching the documentary film Nina had produced on her father titled  Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey . Matthew Kennedy had directed the Fisk Jubilee Singers - who are considered to be the founders of Fisk University  - from 1957 to 1986.  Though the Free Fisk Colored School (named for Union Army General Clinton B. Fisk) was founded by the American Missionary Associatio