Rainbow Push Honors Music Professionals

On November 4, 2019, in Red Hot Radio, by Wide View Publishing

BY YAKIRA LEVI |

Chicago, Illinois – Operation Push and music professionals working together invoke thoughts of increased membership for Push, political activism awareness, and mobilization ignited by the phrase “keep hope alive” —which is precisely the outcome that Reverend Jesse Jackson aims to achieve.

Recently, Rainbow/Push Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund presented awards to Debra Antney, Joaquin James Malphurs [Waka Flocka], Corinthia Federick [New Sense], Barbara “Bam” McDowell, Abraham “Abe” Thompson and John Mitchell. Each award was inscribed with the quote “400 years later: Repairing the damage done”.

“I met four presidents in my life, being in this game, hustling in the street, being a single mother on welfare,” said Debra Antney. “A few years ago, Jesse Jackson named me the Harriet Tubman of the music industry… and Mya Angelo speaking something into me — I got a story behind me also, but today I’m blessed and I thank each and every one of y’all.”

Operation Push Chief of Staff John Mitchell accepted his award on behalf of his family: “That’s my Queen [Corina Evette Mitchell] and that’s my Prince [John Baptiste Mitchell] and those are the ones that I do this for, because his [John Jr.] generation has to have a planet and has to have a culture that he can call his own and not try to identify with somebody else — so thank you.”

The awards ceremony was performed in a laid back, personable presentation with most of the awardees sitting in front of an audience of young aspiring entertainers, press, and supporters of the Independent Music Seminar and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

A woman simply introduced as Chella presented Corinthia Federick [New Sense] with her award. She started with the story of how they met at Minister Louis Farrakhan’s house. She shared on how the Chicago West-side rapper “was being real extra” and that New Sense stood up and said that she was the Queen of Chicago! “Remember?” Chella asked New Sense. She says that right there she told New Sense “You are!”

Chella continued by expressing her love for New Sense as a female street rapper that she respected and appreciated. She ended her presentation by giving a shout out to Bo Deal and stating that New Sense and Bo Deal were the King and Queen of Chicago. New Sense happily accepted her award and gave thanks to God, Operation Bread Basket, Rainbow Push Coalition, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jeanette Wilson, and those who have given many years and decades to civil rights activism- worldwide.

“I always wanted to stand behind a panel and be presented by Rainbow Push and Jesse Jackson, said Joaquin Malphurs [Waka Flocka]. “I didn’t even start rapping cause I wanted to rap, I started rapping cause Gucci went to jail and our name was dying. I remember giving my mother [Debra Antney] a record… She said get that shit and take it out my room- give me a better record. So just to be honored like this, I promise yawl this is real talk. I never rapped to be a rapper, I only rapped to save friends, to move my mama out the hood, and once I felt like I did that, anything after that was robbery.”

“That’s why I don’t want to rap, said Waka Flocka. What am I rapping for? I’m robbing y’all, selling y’all lies to make y’all make me rich so I can go live the truth, so I rather just talk about it and anybody that got anything to say, I don’t care, cause I know how it feels to put catchup and hot sauce in my noodles and eat it with my cousin and we the only two people starving and y’all out there living y’all life, so opinions don’t matter. I don’t care about anything anybody can say because the love is real and when you get love you gotta give it back. Thank y’all man.”

There were between 100 to 150 people present as the awards we were presented. Throughout the entire panel discussion and awards ceremony combined, there were probably over 200 people in attendance.

With a standing ovation, Barbara “Bam” McDowell proudly accepted her award. Holding back tears, she recalled a moment in childhood when she was introduced to Rainbow Push Coalition by her parents, who are now both deceased.

“Bam is one of the hardest working women in radio” Stated Dwayne Glover of Crawford Broadcasting and Power 92 radio. “Bam” listens to all the music that comes in… She decides whether it hits the airwaves or not, but she’s very fair [and] very honest. I really love her for the dedication” Said Mr. Glover. He went on to tell the audience of how Barbara “Bam” McDowell has been a supporter of Rainbow Push since she was 13 years old.

“The University of Chicago, one of the top universities in the world offers a full ride to qualified Chicago Public School students, said three-time Emmy winner and radio station owner Abraham “Abe” Thompson. “You have to qualify to get in, but to get a free ride, that’s close to 100,000 a year.”

“Instead of buying gym shoes, said Mr. Thompson, buy stock in the company. You can buy a share of Disney stock, then that means you own its Channel seven, Disney World, ESPN, newspapers, you own it… But here’s what else it does, it gives you a voice. That’s what the Wall Street Project is about. That’s why you all should to join [Operation] Push.” Stated Abraham Thompson.

The awards were presented at the Rainbow Push Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund sponsored Independent Music Seminar; a theme that counted as their 48th Annual International Convention. Hosted by Godfather, the event was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chicago.

For more information on Rainbow Push Coalition, please contact headquarters at 773.373.3366.

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