Racist Imagery at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston – July 3, 2015Our family made a pilgrimage to Mother Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston, SC today to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the senseless, racist terrorist attack just two weeks ago.Among the dozens of flowers and other tributes that line the front gate, I saw this stuffed monkey. Some may say I'm overreacting, but where I come from, this is well known racist imagery. What I see is a monkey being lynched right in front of this house of worship where the whole world is mourning. Someone wanted to add insult to our injury. Someone spit on the graves of our murdered brothers and sisters here.I'm not sure how many people have noticed this, but as soon as I saw it, I understood the message. This brings me so much sadness and disappointment. In this place where so many people of all races are coming to honor the lives we lost here, some evil hearted soul used the opportunity to perpetuate the hatred. Happy Birthday, America. It is clear to me that we have a very long way to go.#motheremanuel #emanuelamezion #charleston #racistimagery #blacklivesmatter #Happy4thofjuly #terrorism #welcometoamerica

Racist Imagery at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston - July 3, 2015Our family made a pilgrimage to Mother Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston, SC today to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the senseless, racist terrorist attack just two weeks ago.Among the dozens of flowers and other tributes that line the front gate, I saw this stuffed monkey. Some may say I'm overreacting, but where I come from, this is well known racist imagery. What I see is a monkey being lynched right in front of this house of worship where the whole world is mourning. Someone wanted to add insult to our injury. Someone spit on the graves of our murdered brothers and sisters here.I'm not sure how many people have noticed this, but as soon as I saw it, I understood the message. This brings me so much sadness and  disappointment. In this place where so many people of all races are coming to honor the lives we lost here, some evil hearted soul used the opportunity to perpetuate the hatred. Happy Birthday, America. It is clear to me that we have a very long way to go.#motheremanuel #emanuelamezion #charleston #racistimagery #blacklivesmatter #Happy4thofjuly #terrorism #welcometoamerica

VIDEO: Rest In The Funk Terry Thunder Hughley

terrythunderI am terribly saddened to hear that powerhouse Detroit drummer Terry Thunder Hughley made his transition today. Always ready with that winning smile and his righteous pocket, Terry anchored Detroit’s legendary Sun Messengers, and was also the house drummer for the Detroit Pistons, and through his illustrious career he supplied the rhythm for David Ruffin, 5 Special, Enchantment,The Dramatics, The Platters, L. J. Reynolds, New Birth, Little Carl Carlton, Mitch Ryder, Black Merda, Bobby Franklin’s Insanity, The Drifters, The Coasters, Kim Weston, Ollie Woodson of the Temptations, Sir Mack Rice, and many more.

Our paths really didn’t cross that often, but Terry was one of those cats who walks in the room, and you know he’s about to handle his business. He would laugh and joke, but when he hit that snare drum, you knew he was very serious about his craft.

We laughed that we were finally able to jam together when Steffanie Christi’an and I appeared as part of the 2014  Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue, as Terry manned his customary spot on the drummer’s throne. Watch the video of our performance of Bob Seger’s “Lookin’ Back” below.

Terry’s presence was as impactful as his playing, and he will be deeply missed. Rest In The Funk, Terry Thunder.

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