How the mainstream woke up to black excellence – The Guardian UK

How the mainstream woke up to black excellence

This week the unparalleled contributions of black performers were finally recognised by the establishment. Why has it taken so long?

Beyoncé, who has just headlined at Coachella, and Kendrick Lamar, who has won a Pulitzer prize, the first for a hip-hop artist.
 ‘We seem to be having a moment’ … Beyoncé, who has just headlined at Coachella, and Kendrick Lamar, who has won a Pulitzer prize, the first for a hip-hop artist. Composite: Getty Images

Did she just say … Kendrick LamarThe satisfied little smile on Pulitzer prize administrator Dana Canedy’s face as she announced the final award of the afternoon confirmed what I thought I surely had misheard. In awarding the first Pulitzer for a hip-hop album and artist, the music jury, which included the jazz violinist Regina Carter and Columbia professor Farah Jasmine Griffin, cited Lamar’s “vernacular authenticity” and “affecting vignettes … on African-American life”. In other words, the boy can rap.   READ MORE

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