Guest columists

11 02, 2024

HartStrings 26

By |2024-02-05T08:33:43-05:00February 11th, 2024|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Esquerita: The Other Originator” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley One would think that Little Richard was the originator of Rock and Roll. Surely nobody disputed his word, nor proclaimed it as much as he, but Little Richard would not have been Little Richard without inspiration from somewhere or someone. And part of that somewhere and someone was Esquerita [...]

17 12, 2023

HartStrings 25

By |2023-12-16T04:52:25-05:00December 17th, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

Trailblazer is the appropriate word to describe Ellis Haizlip, born on September 21, 1929, in Washington D.C. Details of his childhood are few and may consist of part fantasy, but it has been written that his father had once been an ambassador to Trinidad or a dignitary to the Court of St. James, Antigua. Other accounts state that he [...]

10 09, 2023

HartStrings 24

By |2023-09-08T04:24:48-04:00September 10th, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Michael Peters:  The ‘Balanchine’ of MTV!” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley Michael Douglas Peters was born on August 6, 1948, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was biracial: his mother was Jewish; his father was Black.  When he was four, his mother noticed that he was always dancing; therefore, she enrolled the little boy in dance classes. Growing up, Peters witnessed gang [...]

9 07, 2023

HartStrings 23

By |2023-07-04T07:17:10-04:00July 9th, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Willi Ninja: VOGUE!” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley Born in New Hyde Park, New York, on April 12, 1961, William (Willi) Roscoe Leake (aka Ninja) had no idea that he’d become a world-famous icon or that he’d create art in various forms that would inspire generations.  Willi, whose ancestry was composed of African-American, Irish, Cherokee, and Asian, began [...]

21 05, 2023

HartStrings 22

By |2023-05-15T14:52:37-04:00May 21st, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Bronzeville: Black Metropolis” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley In many major cities and some smaller ones in America, an area with a center of entertainment existed, where life had rhythm and movement.  In Chicago, that neighborhood was called Bronzeville, located on the South side. In the past, this area of town was boorishly called things such as Darkie [...]

16 04, 2023

HartStrings 21

By |2023-04-13T18:20:36-04:00April 16th, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Jackie Shane: Any Other Way” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley Every now and then, an unapologetically genuine person comes along, not needing dire circumstances to force them to be true to themselves and the world. Meet Jackie Shane, a trailblazing original, if ever there was one. Jackie Shane was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 15, [...]

5 02, 2023

HartStrings 20

By |2023-01-31T13:41:27-05:00February 5th, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“The Preacher” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley When people use the phrase "bible belt," they typically (and incorrectly) refer to the country's Southern region. However, the Midwest can also adopt that term. The Midwest can also assert that Reverend Clarence Cobbs was instrumental in bringing innovation to the bible belt's "church world." Clarence Cobbs was born [...]

22 01, 2023

Old School New Kid 37

By |2023-01-19T09:54:39-05:00January 22nd, 2023|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“In Gratitude” The year 2022 has come to an end. Indeed, it's had its share of challenges; however, it's also had blessings. As an independent novelist and columnist at this stage of my life, I have much to be grateful. First, I give honor and thanks to God for this gift of writing. Truly, our [...]

18 12, 2022

Old School New Kid 36

By |2022-12-18T10:59:56-05:00December 18th, 2022|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“December 1, 1955” In this day and age, we remember December 1 as World AIDS Day. Even with the medical advances in treating HIV and AIDS, it still impacts people around the globe, particularly people of color. In the height of the fear, ignorance, and paranoia of the 1980s, I attended more funerals than I [...]

11 12, 2022

HartStrings 19

By |2022-12-12T09:00:41-05:00December 11th, 2022|Categories: guest, Uncategorized|0 Comments

By the time Clyde McPhatter crossed the line from being a gospel performer with The Lebanon Singers, he was a seasoned, standout voice with a unique delivery and a stage presence that captivated audiences. Clyde Lensley McPhatter was born on November 15, 1932, to Rev. George McPhatter and his wife, Eva, in the Hayti community of Durham, North Carolina. [...]

9 10, 2022

HartStrings 18

By |2022-10-06T08:26:36-04:00October 9th, 2022|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“The Seeker” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley James Richmond Barthé was born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Richmond Barthé and Marie Clementine Robateau.  When James was just a few months old, his father passed away at 22, leaving his mother, a dressmaker, to raise him alone.  Before Barthé began elementary school, she married William Franklin, and in time [...]

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