. . .she needs new people.
I must preface this rant by saying that Fantasia sounded and looked great, despite all of the financial woes rumors. Her hair was an auburn, asymmetrical flip. Her wardrobe (she did a costume change) was classy and feminine. However, the event at which she sang, um, not so much.
So I know all of us black folk are in rapture over Obama's victory. His inauguration over the MLK Day weekend is something to be lauded. If you are to encapsulate all of that cultural euphoria in an event meant to be "A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saluting the First African American President Barack Obama" you should first learn the art of the segue.
The 26th Annual Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert was a mish-mash of your last high school assembly/First Baptist Choir Anniversary/I Have A Dream Day Brunch mess. The loquacious title is someone how more harmonious than the actual collection of performances.
Maybe I am not cultured enough, but I have not seen a troupe of uniformed soldiers marching in-step complete with flag carrier since color guard. The Pledge of Allegiance is said. The Star Spangled Banner is
mangled song. The choir sings Negro Spirituals.
Fantasia sings, 'I'm Grateful." It's not the song I am expecting but she carries it out flawlessly. She does, however, step out of her five-inch heels and leaves them on the stage. (Her manager later comes out on stage to gather them.)
Other lesser known and
less talented acts sing. Fantasia sings again (Born Blessed) and catches the Holy Ghost dances a little too.
Enters the Tang-master.
Picture this. A man dressed in an all white unitard with American flags hanging from both arms like wings of angels
flutters gaily dances across the stage. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. He looks like Whitney Houston in the Bodyguard singing I Wanna Run To You. You know the part where Kevin Costner is watching the video of Whitney running in white. SERIOUSLY.
This man alternates between flailing his arms, spreading his legs wide-eagle, and throwing himself whimsically on the floor. SERIOUSLY.
More soloists. Add in some random African man whose English is terrible and who rambles aimlessly.
Fantasia sings again. Re-enter the Tang-master with mini-Tang in tow. He and
someone I initially thought was a woman a little boy dance together. This performance is disturbing on so many levels.
Everyone comes back on stage Apollo Amateur Night-style and we are encouraged to 'give it up' for folk that we don't know or even care about.
Pure comedy. I guess a check is a check.