Sister Rosetta Tharpe may be the most famous rock-and-roll star you’ve never heard of. If you don’t know the name, try to picture an African-American woman in a long white sequined dress and high heels, touring America in the 1930s and 40s with an electric guitar slung around her neck. She got her start in gospel but began crossing over to nightclubs and introducing the rhythms that became rock-and-roll (as Stereo Williams wrote in a Daily Beast profile of her). “I love music, but I’d never come across her before, and when I finally did, I thought ‘who is this woman, and why don’t I know about her?’” said playwright George Brant. He ultimately learned everything he could about Rosetta’s life and music and was stunned by her outsized impact. Now his terrific new musical Marie and Rosetta, is having its world premiere at the small Atlantic Theater in Manhattan. “Chuck Berry borrowed her guitar stylings and Little Richard said … [Read more...] about Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Forgotten Mother of Rock-and-Roll
What is mother jones
After two years of trying, President Donald Trump finally got the military pageantry he has so desperately wanted. The annual Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC—a parade, concert, and fireworks—featured tanks, fighter planes and Trump himself. It was called “A Salute to America,” but it looked more like a salute to Trump, who made a rare address for a president on Independence Day from the Lincoln Memorial. A rain-soaked crowd around the Lincoln Memorial chanted “USA USA!” and Air Force One flew low over Washington as Trump strode up to the podium. While water ran down the front of the bulletproof glass enveloping the podium, he opened his remarks with, “Hello, America, Hello.” “Today we come together as one nation,” he told the crowd, which was divided by a fence that kept VIP guests separated from ordinary spectators. Trump stuck to the script, delivering his speech with his signature stilted … [Read more...] about This July 4th Had Everything: Tanks, Trump—and Scandal
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images Here is a science-fiction scenario: Imagine a strange new virus that incapacitates everybody below the age of 75. The virus wipes out the entire political leadership, except one old man, who has survived on account of his age, but may also be too old to handle the awesome task before him. Now suppose — and I am not certain this is the case, but just suppose — that this is happening to the Democratic presidential campaign. The virus is Twitter, and the old man is (duh) Joe Biden. In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, an exotic political theory promoted by the party’s most left-wing flank suddenly gained wide circulation. The appeal of Bernie Sanders proved Democrats were ready to embrace socialism, or at least something close to it; and Donald Trump’s election proved a nominee with extreme positions could still win. These two conclusions, in combination, suggested the party would move as far left as activists preferred at no … [Read more...] about What If the Only Democrat Who Isn’t Too Radical to Win Is Too Old?
White-nationalist activist Richard Spencer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images White nationalism has a branding problem. The election of Donald Trump proved there’s an appetite for its basic principles — namely, that an ideal America is an America ruled politically, culturally, and demographically by white people, catering to their desires and ideas about belonging and maintained through the demonization, flagellation, and expulsion of their chosen enemies. But nobody wants to be called a racist. So while the prospect of an ethnostate has its charms for many Americans, being associated with unsavory types like Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen remains a deal breaker for some. The movement’s activists know this. Leaders like David Duke vehemently reject the impulse to cast those “[defending] the heritage of European-American people” as “racist.” Others, like Identity Evropa organizer Daniel Morley, have dedicated their lives to helping others … [Read more...] about Richard Spencer’s Contract With America
Photo: Amanda Demme for New York Magazine On Friday, New York published a harrowing account from author and longtime Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in which she recounted being raped by Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s. Carroll’s story, which is excerpted from her new book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, has already been read more than a million times. Below is a roundup of the response thus far, including wild accusations from the president, commentary from pundits, politicians, and readers — as well as the debate over what might come next. On Friday night, Carroll appeared on MSNBC’s Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, where she shared the story again, in person instead of on paper: She also went deeper into how she — as many victims of sexual assault do — felt she was responsible for the attacks. “I blamed myself and I was silent and I felt guilty,” she told the Washington … [Read more...] about How Readers, Pundits, and President Trump Are Responding to E. Jean Carroll’s Allegations