#Grammys4Brandy #BlackVoicesMatter #BLM

#Grammys4Brandy #BlackVoicesMatter #BLM

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Joshua Moonlight started this petition to Grammy Foundation

#Grammys4Brandy

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this open letter in support of a petition created to bring social consciousness to the systemic issues of institutional oppression and covert discriminatory practices of the Grammy Awards.  I may not be a member of the exclusive grammy committee, but I am a consumer of music and lover of all music genres.  I recognize that music has the power to heal the spirit and set the social agenda of our global community.  Most importantly, I recognize that music and artist that are elevate by Grammy wins has the ability to influence what our collective society values most. 

Therefore, I am calling upon the Grammys to FINALLY give respect and acknowledgment where both are due for a cultural icon and legend, Brandy Rayana Norwood. Since her first single release, Ms. Norwood has been an indispensable example of the what one can achieve as a black person in America.  Not only was Ms. Norwood extremely talented with her unique voice, tone, and vocal acrobatics, but most important, Ms. Norwood was someone that the black and pan-African community could relate too.  Ms. Norwood looked like us, spoke like us, and addressed issues in her music, television show, movies, ad campaigns, and image that showed America what black excellence looks and feels like. 

Ms. Norwood achieved success by not being sexualized by being clad with short skirts, low cut blouses or dresses, and heavy makeup.  Ms. Norwood was authentically herself.  She set the standard for being an empowered black girl, now women, who did not have to show her body or make overtly sexual music and dance routines to connect with the world. Furthermore, she did not use her beauty to achieve success by being high glam and caking on makeup. Ms. Norwood did all of these things before they were viewed as methods of self-empowerment and self-love.  

The Grammys once had the respect of many because the organization was seen as honoring quality, not quantity of music sales. Artists weren’t frequently given multiple Grammys in one night.  The recognition of quality was shared across music genres; which is a very different reality of today. 

If anyone has ANY doubts about Ms. Norwood’s influence in the music industry and the CLEAR FACT that she has been isolated from winning Grammys, just listen to any R&B or R&B Pop or Hip Hop R&B album today and tell me that one does not hear some influence of Ms. Norwood. That is why she is known as the VOCAL BIBLE. If her peers and colleagues honor her by crediting her work for their success and style, then why hasn’t the Grammys? One shared Grammy is not enough recognition for this icon.  

Ms. Norwood broke ground in several areas and has yet to be honored with respect as one the greatest influences in music, period.   

     Some of her legendary and innovative accomplishments include: 

     Layering her voice to create a unique and beautiful sound.

     Brilliantly having two female voices on a track. 

     Her use of her tone and register in ways never considered. 

     Tackling racism and sexism head on in her television shows, music videos, and 

     music.

Ms. Norwood’s latest LP, B7, is on her own label with Ms. Norwood penning all of the songs.  Not only is her voice brilliant, but the lyrics are genius, and sound is classic Brandy (the weaving of a new age background with R&B and hip-hop roots.  This has been Ms. Norwood’s sound before its popularity by some relatively new artists of today.  B7 is clearly a new music industry standard, as all of Ms. Norwood’s albums have been. The album from start to finish is an experience and did not require elaborate music videos.  The album is based on authentic talent and a harrowing personal story of lived experience as a black person in America. Pure and simple, the album is about the music, period. 

If the Grammys do not honor Brandy for her work with B7 then they would be validating the racist, sexist, and ageist concerns that many people have of them. I pray that the Grammys are bold and decisive in their next awards ceremony by honoring Ms. Norwood and repudiating their history of sexism, racism, and ageism.  There is no better way to do that then for the focus to shift back to quality, not quantity of sales or social media likes. 

There is no doubt in my mind that B7 is the epitome of music quality. If the Grammy Committee does not validate the quality of this album, then it is clear that they are not interested in the extraordinary call to action, which is reconciling with their past practices of systemic oppression based on sexism, racism, and ageism so we all can have a better future. If not, then the Grammys will continue to lose it’s notoriety. They can no longer blame social media, streaming platforms, and the emergence of new music award ceremonies for their decline. They would have no choice but to blame themselves for their reluctance to change their system which has so ruthlessly upheld the typical standards of excellence based on archaic principles of youth, sells, and sex. 

Respectfully Written for the Purpose of Peacemaking,

Joshua D. Moonlight, MBA, MSW, LCSW

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