Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stanley Crouch introduces us to Yvonne Bynoe.

Entertainment: As they both slam rappers who went after Oprah who they felt disrespected them for not having them on her show.

"....But even if this campaign should peter out, the day is far from lost. Warming up in another corner is Yvonne Bynoe, author and lecturer. Having had more than enough, Bynoe wrote a remarkably intelligent defense of Oprah Winfrey on Davey D's Hip Hop Daily News (Daveyd.com) last month. Go there, I urge you, and read it yourself. With the letter, titled "Do Blacks Really Need Oprah to Be Down with Hip Hop?," Bynoe earns a place as a Thomas Paine in the movement against female degradation. In reaction to the rappers like Ludacris who complain that Winfrey - the American Queen of Goodwill - has disrespected them or failed to support their careers, her rebuttal is so well thought out, so articulate and so full of righteous anger that I am sure that 50 Cent and Ice Cube suffered skin burns if they read it. Or could read it. The young lady knows their work well, sees the illogic of their assertions and lays them out in a row like dead fish in the market. Unlike so many critics who tiptoe into such territory, Bynoe shows no inclination to be silenced by a flag of false ethnic solidarity. With confidence, she slaps aside all the manipulative ploys that rappers use against any who dare question their insipid material. Of the attacks on Winfrey, Bynoe writes, "The underlining sentiment is that if she is unwilling to set aside her values and opinions, then she can't be down for black people. This position assumes that what is good for black entertainers is good for black folks, and that notion is arguable. There are many media outlets that expose U.S. rap artists to the global marketplace. However, Oprah is virtually alone in her ability, through her selection of guests, to provide the world with a broader view of black Americans and their achievements. For most of us, particularly black women, who are frequently equated with the images of half-naked, gyrating females found in the rap music videos, a countervailing portrayal is welcomed." Uh-oh. Beware, you gold-and-diamond-toothed dogs, they are coming for you. They are young, educated, good-looking and fiery, meaning that they cannot be dismissed as old, out-of-touch, frustrated hags. The dogcatchers are on the way. "

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