Mavis Staples gives us a glimpse of the way things could be in a gorgeous new video for the title track from her Jeff Tweedy-produced 2017 album, If All I Was Was Black. Filmed in New Orleans, the video finds the legendary singer watching from a restaurant as a statue of an African-American woman is unveiled where a monument to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis once stood.Mavis Staples – “If All I Was Was Black”Staples’ latest offering comes nearly 10 months after the City of New Orleans removed statues of Davis, Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard (along with a plaque celebrating a post-Civil War white supremacist uprising) following a vote by the City Council. The Zac Manuel-directed piece includes shots of what used to be the bases of those three statues as well as an empty platform that hosted Durham, NC’s memorial for Confederate soldiers until protestors toppled it this past August.If All I Was Was Black may be the most recent politically-charged release from Staples, but it’s far from her first. As a member of her family band The Staples Singers, Mavis achieved international fame with a series of socially-conscious tunes that delivered a hopeful message in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. The group regularly sang at civil rights marches during the 1960s and even performed for Martin Luther King Jr., who was particularly fond of their song “Why (Am I Treated So Bad)”. “That’s the only way I know to get to the people, is through a song,” Staples told Rolling Stone last year. “I’ve lived the life I’ve sang about and I just want to make it better. Music is powerful. Music is power. It can bring us all together as a people, and that’s what I hope to do.”
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I was recently summoned to serve as a juror in Schenectady. The potential trail for this jury turned out to be a civil matter. It was settled out of court and the summoned were excused.After going through this process, I had several concerns. So I phoned the commissioner of jurors, Nicole M. Salamone and talked to her assistant about my concerns.She told me that Nicole may call me back. In about an hour, I received a call from Nicole. We had a nice conversation and it soon became apparent to me that this woman really cares about her responsibilities. She really wants to do the best job possible for the citizens of Schenectady County.I’m not easily impressed, but this woman is impressive. If we had more public servants like her, we could be in much better shape. Thanks, Nicole.Thomas SingerSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?