Musical Magic of History and Tragedy
Written by Gregory Johnson on May 27, 2021
Giving Sound to the soul of Activism by Cheryl Morrow/SDMONITORNEWS.COM
In 2018 C. Von Parchman and Marty Arnold of 6x Entertainment were searching for something to sink their passion into. So instead of finding something interesting, something found them.
Yes, we’re here again! Black Lives Matter is the drum – tone of today, however, in 1787 abolitionists asked, “Am I Not A Man”? Historically, and even today, Black Men have been referred to as “Boy” and treated like second class citizens, and even in a post George Floyd world we are still asking “Am I Not A Man?”
February 1st, 2021 marked the 53rd anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Strike that resulted from the death of Echol Cole and Robert Walker, the two black Sanitation workers who were crushed in the barrel of their own truck due to a faulty switch and the family was never fairly compensated. Their deaths triggered the referenced strike and the birth of the I AM A MAN picket sign. However, this year is a bit more bittersweet with the death of George Floyd in 2020 and the conviction of his murderer Derek Chauvin this year.
In 2018, noted film producer, Floyd Easley asked 6x Entertainment’s artist Tia P. to pen the lyrics to the movie that he was producing called “I Am A Man” of which, unbeknownst to Tia P. happened to be the same year of the 50th anniversary of the referenced strike. Without really trying to connect the two, the centrifugal pull to write such lyrics was obviously strong without her even being conscious of it. “Spirit inspired and driven by the ever increasing injustices being done to Black Men, the words and music came together” says C. Von who serves as the project’s executive producer with his business partner Marty. C. Von explains, “When my daughter told me about her inspiration, something inside of us just had to go with it.”
Tia P. says “after hearing the music that was composed by Darryl Easley and Devin Christopher, the words just began to flow.
” The fact that A woman wrote the lyrics is the most wonderful part of this project, I believe.”
“C. Von goes on to mention that this tribute is more about putting the pain to a song, giving our pain a sound. Like Iyanla Vanzant says “In order to really get to the core of healing something you gotta give it sound.”
“A fight, a belief or passion of purpose is more powerful when it comes in the form of a musical expression” says Marty.
Every generation has its musical soundtrack, however, unlike their predecessors, the Black Lives Matter, Millennials and Gen Zer’s are without one. We wanted a voice who’s was powerful enough to carry the lyrics and perform the song, and B.Slade was the man. It didn’t hurt he was a Grammy nominated recording artist and musical titan. B.Slade is no stranger to the activism aspect of music. His single “Change” is a brilliant, fed -up explosive lyrical rant, akin to the same kind of frustration that led Tia P. to write “I AM A MAN.”
“I had to deal with my own encounters, says Slade.” I could relate immediately since I could breathe, Slade chuckles.” “I would never miss an opportunity such as this, Tia P. nail’s the Black man’s sentiments right on its head. I love the fact that a woman wrote it. That’s so Kool, B.Slade says.”
The project has been filled with tears, anger, frustration, and the sweet gift of patience. Social entrepreneurship is today’s new activism.
“As experienced men within entertainment, Marty and I have realized, you end like you start, and we
wanted this song to be sung in the mornings, afternoon and in the evening. Reminding Black men to declare over their lives and others, that they are men and that they matter. C. Von.”
This marvelous gospel feel anthem brings you to your feet at the beginning, in the middle, and all the way to the end. I AM A MAN drops on May 25, 2021 which coincides with the 1-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, it says never forget but don’t get stuck, move in the world as a man, with your own power, self-determination, and shine.
Mission & Purpose:
To help eradicate the marginalization and emasculation of African American men by providing resources designed to enhance
their life’s journey. Because Strong Men = Better Husbands, Fathers, Sons and Communities