Snippet

So… snippet.

My protag has to go after someone she’s looking out for, Natasha, and that leads her to a curious establishment…

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I was conscious of any number of unusual persons–supernatural, the very few who were not, and those on the liminal line in between–going about their business. The murmuring of voices, the clink of glasses. A goateed man walked past me with a suit vest, tattoos on his bare arms and on one hand, a do-rag with white trim, and eyes like pale glass. I wondered how he managed to get those eyes. I didn’t ask.

The establishment’s overhead lights dimmed; and a reverential hush fell over the crowd. I looked to the stage. Amethyst beams illuminated it, revealing at first three silhouettes. The lead singer, all twirled dreads piled up on her head, a mishmash of chunky necklaces and dangling bright bands, flared forearm bands, and white angel wings. One of the backing guitarists started off the set, all jacked – him all head and shoulders and shrieking vocals with a growly low end.

I was arrested. Who were they?

And then came the lead singer’s voice – wails descended into whispers and her voice, at once fiery and jarring. Her voice soared to incredible heights, plunging into deep, sensual growls,

Their bassist started in – Grace Jones legs—long, bare, lean–Grace Jones dark, Grace Jones bone structure, bleached white haircut, shades, faux fur jacket mostly for those long arms strumming away, and a white bodysuit whose v-neck slashed to her bellybutton.

A voice came to interrupt my thrall, the breath right at my ear. “It would seem I didn’t make my point quite clear.”

BallBraids. So they had seen me.

A strong hand eased itself up the back of my neck, tightened to a vice-like grip, and pulled my head back. “Perhaps another demonstration would be necessary…?”

Turning my head, I snarled, “Bring it.”

Laughter, throaty and laced with knives, this in my other ear—imposing upon my enjoying the performance, yet again—“Not here, sweetie pie.”

SkullScarf. The first time I’ve heard her speak.

Something sharp pricked the small of my back. A fingernail… a knife… I couldn’t be sure. A quick twist could probably end my mobility and sever my spine, however.

“She wants to see you.” This from SkullScarf. The prick prodded me forward.

BallBraids’ grip loosened. I started moving.

Quoth

 “Forget what it sounds like for a minute, let’s consider the spirit of rock and roll: Rebellious. Energetic. Vocal. Independent. Driven. Unapologetic. Powerful. They’re characteristics I could attribute to damn-near every sister I know.

In fact, my personal Who’s Who of Rock and Roll is stacked with bomb Black women. Betty Davis. Grace Jones. Tina Turner. Aretha Franklin. Nona Hendryx. Poly Styrene. Joan Armatrading. Joyce Kennedy… and that’s just 1976-77.

So why do so many people go out of their way to marginalize or flat-out disregard Black women as both pioneers and torchbearers of rock? Why are we so indifferent to the fact that more than a few African-American women strapped an instrument to their back and helped carry the genre from the fields to the church to the juke joint to the charts to a multimillion-dollar industry?

Probably because someone told us it wasn’t ours and we chose to believe it. They said it was devil’s music, so we cast it out. We let it go because someone gave it white skin, a penis, and the green light to cross boundaries that Black people couldn’t. And in so doing, they convinced the world that our pioneers didn’t deserve equal recognition, equal exposure or equal ownership.

Damn shame.”

— Black Women In Rock: If Sister Rosetta Tharpe is too old school for you, then maybe Santigold flips your wig. Either way, sisters have been part of rock music for as long as guitar feedback’s been loud (via blackrockandrollmusic)