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Higher Heights For America Raises Awareness Around the Lack of Black Women Artists Nominated for Grammy Awards This Year


Higher Heights For America, a national organization building the collective political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office, turned its attention to the 2018 Grammy Awards last night as the latest source of an uneven playing field for Black women.


Though yesterday’s Grammy Awards were lauded as one of the most diverse in the organization’s history, only a handful of Black women artists were nominated for awards. This is despite the overwhelming influence Black women have on the music industry and pop culture on the whole. Women of color in Congress, and every level of public office, experience a similar discrepancy. Black women are one of the most consistent voting demographics in the nation, yet they are still woefully underrepresented in public office.


From Black women’s votes to Black women’s voices, the influence of Black women is undeniable. Higher Heights believes that #TimesUp on Black women setting the stage but rarely being center stage. To celebrate and spotlight Black women’s contributions to music and leadership across industries, Higher Heights produced a Spotify playlist, which featured songs selected by Black women running for office; sitting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, social justice leaders, and business leaders. Using the playlist, Higher Heights showed that Black women lead across industries, whether in entertainment or politics. These influencers spoke about how their chosen artist exemplifies the idea that #BlackWomenLead.


Participants of the social media action included: U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-9); U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson (NJ-12); Vanessa K. DeLuca, Editor-In-Chief, Essence Magazine; Vi Lyles, the first African-American female Mayor of Charlotte; Brittany Packnett, Activist, Educator, and Vice President for Teach For America; Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner and President of Our Revolution; Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor-At-Large; Kim Foxx, Cook County, IL, State’s Attorney; and Tishaura O. Jones, Treasurer, City of St. Louis, amongst others. Participants and their posts can be viewed here.


“We chose to magnify this issue on Grammy Sunday because for far too long this uneven playing field has existed in the music industry, the same way it has in the political arena,” said Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights. “Our #BlackWomenLead Playlist was curated for us, by us, as Black women who go to work for us every day, whether we’re leaders in Congress, our workplaces or our households —  it really is a playlist for all of us.”


“Often times it’s a pipeline issue, and the same barriers that impact Black women in politics also impact Black women in the music industry and other sectors,” said Kimberly Peeler-Allen,” co-founder of Higher Heights. “Whether it be gatekeepers, lack of access, finances, or overall lack of support, our goal is to highlight these similarities and to demonstrate that we stand with Black women across industry lines.”

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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