Ferguson, Missouri

Rosa Clemente: This is the picture taken by the Daily News. Talib, Jessica Care Moore and about five other people on the other side, you might see my hands up, those are some other young men as well as brother with the Peace Poets. Since apparently to some people we need evidence as our experience is not enough.

Black Women Rock is a living tribute to Betty Davis — one rocking Black woman.

Davis, at one point married to legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, influenced his music and went on to create a sound and imagery all her own. An icon to pioneering Black rock figures ever since, Davis is still largely unknown. BWR is a reminder.

Moore says BWR is a tribute to the “amazing lights, so many Amazon women” who are not in the mainstream.

Brooklyn-based punk artist Tamar-kali, a BWR vocalist and guitar player, says the “ground breaking and self-defining music” of Davis parallels the lives of many of the BWR artists.

“I hope to continue the legacy of Nina Simone, Grace Jones, Betty Davis,” Kali told the Michigan Citizen. “So we can (understand) that iconography or imagery is in line with true artistry.”

BWR reminds us that though the path for Black women, artists and otherwise, can be daunting, it’s not crippling.

“Despite what some say, I believe Black women always have to fight a little bit harder. Have to love a little bit deeper. Have to stand a little bit stronger. We know how to make the best out of any bad situation. There is a collective experience that deep down we understand,” says Steffanie Christi’an of BWR, who attended the African-centered Aisha Shule/W.E.B. Dubois Prepatory Academy and Wayne State University.
jessica Care moore talks Black Women Rock! in Detroit

Detroiter jessica Care moore has been proving that Black Women Rock for over 10 years, and she’s not done yet.

In March, moore produced her 12th sold-out installment of Black Women Rock!, a tribute to Betty “Nasty Gal” Davis, an American funk queen who rose to fame during the late ’60s, early ’70s, and who was also briefly married to legendary jazz musician Miles Davis.

Not to be confused with BET’s Black Girls Rock!, Black Women Rock! is a movement spearheaded by moore in 2004 during the National Black Arts Festival.

“It’s about showcasing the music and stories of Black women who build institutions around their craft,” said moore. “It’s about paying homage to those who came before us to empower women who play bass, guitar, cello, drums, sing or write poetry on their own terms.”

The event is extraordinary as it features a wide variety of Black female artists from around the country who convene in Detroit for one night to rock out, in their own Black woman style.

This year the lineup was super dope, as Nik West (famous bass guitarist and vocalist), Divinity Roxx (Beyoncé’s former bass guitarist), Mama Sol (spoken word artist), Kimberly Nichole (former contestant on “The Voice”) and newcomer K. Valentine (Chicago-born hip-hop lyricist), and several others shared the same stage.

Also on stage were artists creating live paintings during the performances. Sabrina Nelson, a Detroit-based artist, curated a visual art exhibition as part of BWR!’s opening reception and was also one of the live artists giving life to her creations on stage.

Rolling Out talked exclusively with moore after the concert about her experience with BWR! and how it felt to be experiencing her 12th anniversary. She gave us some insight on why she chose Betty Davis as her inspiration and told us what Davis thinks about the concert. [Read More]


Box this!!!
Powerful electrifying delivery from Jessica Care Moore.

Fall Open House & First Fridays: Black Mecca, Collective Memory

Friday, October 3, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 10:00PM

The Schomburg’s annual Fall Open House is an opportunity to sample some of the exciting programs taking place at the Schomburg - from guided tours and talks, to performances and live music. The evening will include light refreshments and wine bar by Melba’s. Enjoy tours, extended hours in our galleries, and explore two new exhibitions.

Cities have always been instrumental in the formation of black collective memory. Black urban enclaves embody multiple meanings and that often serve as sources of daily inspiration and motivation, juxtaposed with racial unrest and oppression. Take a journey through the Schomburg collection of manuscripts, books and periodicals, moving image and recorded sound, art and photographs to explore the richness of this history. 

Don’t miss the highlight of the evening, filmmaker and writer dream Hampton in conversation with poet and publisher Jessica Care Moore for a special Fall Open House talk. Both Detroit natives, dream and Jessica will present their lively personal narratives about growing up in the motor city and the impact Detroit has had on their lives, as well as on other black mecca cities around the world. Writer, musician and producer Greg Tate will moderate.

For more information and to Register, click here.
'Detours' podcast: Black Women Rock, Hamtramck Music Fest

Detroit poet-musician-actress Jessica Care Moore, the driving force behind Black Women Rock, talks about the concert series featuring African-American women delivering hard rock and heavy funk sounds. It honors the often-overlooked role women have played in the creation of the music.

The main gig is at the Charles H. Wright on Saturday night, but there are other related events, including a community discussion at the museum Sunday. [Read More]

Warriors Walk Alone

Warriors walk alone
But stay protected by their pack
Give them everything they wanted
Then take it all back
Make them find their icon in the mirror
Sprout their own fear and watch them grow
Tell their story – cry when you do it
Turn your blood to funkadelic polkadots
Sign your name in red
Change the I to why
Because we have to change
Because black girls are dying
Because no one showed them how to live
Mama fish, the children will revolt
Whispers and reports of oil spills
Will kill the women
Who make revolution, food for their children

A penny bank full of butterflies
Will never cocoon into enough cash
To pay for the expectations of spectators
Gypsy haters
Wash your colorful wings in the well
Know that all your wishes
Add to our spicy bitches brew
We are who was sent to you
So, who sent you?
When the shit goes down
Will you remember which way the blue bird flew?
I advise you carry your compass and your scissors
Next time you go fishing for the worst part of good
I hope your ideas of consciousness
Can get you out this hood
In one piece
We wolves always come in peace
We are the traveling leaf, that cries for trees
Music angel.
Stretch your warrior marks
Mark your warrior path
Stretch marks tattoo your temple
Swallow your dimples
Hide your style/market your spirit/sell something/cut it off/save
them/sacrifice/drink water/pray/laugh and breath/cross your legs/get your
gun/wage the war/make them buy it/bat your eyes/rock it out/make them
beg/put the hits on the b side/smile warrior
Listen for your tribe

Here we go!

Check your footprints
Pick them up/shoot em down/take the a train/bite your story
Save your tongue//just get there sista/even if you have to leave a few of
behind/chant backward rhymes/store your milk for ammunition/ use your
intuition/shave your hair/wish them luck
tell the witch doctors/we don’t give a fuck/

scar your face/pierce your nose/unwrap the package
define the present

tell them no

just when they think they’ve have it

meditate while they criticize it/burn sage for the liars who print it/turn
down the stove/only boil with natural fire/burn down their house/watch the
words melt /save the ink/write a new song/return to the ocean/leave them
the mermaids/carry your pepper spray/wear your hooker books/tease
them prove their identity/brand it to their bodies/force them to pin a
to their clothes/convert the masses/design the logo/create a real

when no one’s looking

so they’ll never see us


Black Statue of Liberty by Jessica Care Moore

I stand still above an island, fist straight in the air
Scar on my face, thick braids in my hair
Battle boots tied, red blood in the tears I’ve cried.
Tourists fly from all over just to swim near my tide
Or climb up my long flight of stairs
But they trip on their shoe string lies.
Piece by piece they shipped my body to this country
Now that I’m here, your people don’t want me.
I’m a symbol of freedom, but I’m still not free
I suffer from class, race, and gender inequality.
I wear a crown of knowledge, ‘cause I’m a conscious queen
My mask is one of happiness, though my history here is full of misery.
Done deliberately.
I am America’s true statue of liberty.
You placed a bible under my arm, after you ripped me of my faith
And made me pray to a fictional imposter
So, if you were trying to maintain liberty
Too late, you just lost her
'Cause her torch is about to serve as the night light for truth
In the slums and the ghettos that you find so uncouth.
Education will be delivered not from the tree, but the root.
So, little black girls and boys will check their pockets
For spirituality rather than loot
'Cause liberty is just old mother nature
And although you don’t lover her, she’ll never hate ya.
She’s earth, wind and fire, don’t tempt her to show her power.
Turning all weeds to flowers.
Looking into her wise eyes will make a blind man see
How can you dare name a eurocentric girl after me?
Assata Shakur Barbara Jordan Nikki Giovanni and Angela Davis.
These are the real symbols of liberty
'Cause that stone faced French woman ain’t gonna save us.
The same folks who enslaved us.

I’m sitting at the back of the bus, 'cause I feel like it.
And I play ball
Not 'cause you pay me to dunk it, dribble it or hike it.
I’m taking all my people back home, and breaking them mentally free.
I am the walking, talking, breathing, beautiful statue of liberty.
I sweep crack pipes out of school yards
I nurture my man when times are hard.
So, where the hell’s my statue?
What’s the liberated woman gotta do?
Place my name in wet cement
Every month I pay the rent.
Put my silhouette on a stamp
I’m not a ho, slut or tramp.
My children aren’t on crack, and neither am I.
I want to see the words, “Go, strong Black woman,”
When the Goodyear blimp flies by.
I can bake cookies, bear babies, preside over revolutions
Get rings out of tubs, wear a suit, sport baggy jeans, slick my hair back
Or tie it up in braids.
My aura is unafraid.
So, no statue in the big apple can mess with me.
I am the walking, talking, surviving, breathing, beautiful
Black Statue of Liberty.