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2020 Ohio APME - Best Feature Reporting

Lauren Green

WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz produces a bi-weekly feature taking a look at Northeast Ohio's music scene. In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the outrage the sparked nationwide calls for racial and social justice, Amanda produced a series of stories taking a look at the work of local Black artists and their efforts to raise awareness. The following three stories are combined in the audio link at the top of this page:

Cleveland's Mourning [A] BLKstar Reflect on the Movement That Sings Through Their Music
Mourning [A] BLKstar is a diverse collective of Cleveland-based artists with layered identities. Its members aim to blur the lines of gender and genre while expressing their individual realities through music. The collective’s 2018 album, “The Garner Poems,” takes on a new relevancy, with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery sparking protests and new conversations centered on police brutality and systemic racism around the world. The group released its album “The Cycle” in May 2020. The release expands upon themes involving the experience of Black life in America, but with a heavy emphasis on the human condition—and how different it can be for each individual.

Justin Tibbs Starts a Dialogue About Race with His '#BlackInAmerica' Performance
In 2018, singer-songwriter Angie Haze led a performance with her theatrical ensemble, The Angie Haze Project, at the Akron Civic Theatre. Haze approached her saxophone player, Justin Tibbs, in front of an audience of primarily white attendees with the question, “Will you play for us the way it feels to be a Black man in America today?”

Trumpeter Theresa May Shares the 'Calluses' Black Women Build in the Classical World
Born in Shaker Heights, trumpet performer and teacher Theresa May has established a diverse, prolific career in music. From an early age, May has worked to break barriers and expectations in the orchestral world as a Black woman. “We need to do better at making it known that women play trumpet,” May said. “We also play tuba, and any other brass instrument, and trombone and whatever."

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