Multi-Grammy-winning artist Adele rejected her award for “Album of the Year” and in her speech pointed out the ugly truth about the entertainment industry’s culture bandits that have exploited and robbed Black talent for eons. Here is an excerpt from the newly updated and expanded 2017 edition of HOW WHITE FOLKS GOT SO RICH:
Black Talent Snatching
An entire white business infrastructure has been established that feeds directly from the talent of Black athletes, musicians, dancers, singers, comedians, and artists of every kind, who have set the standard for excellence in the entertainment field. White business people, with no discernible talent (save their access to a whites-only money supply), sit firmly over a massive wealth-generating enterprise no different from the old Southern post-slavery sharecropping model, while deriving incredible profits entirely from Black cultural genius.
Unmistakably, Black culture rules the entire world of entertainment, and Black physical prowess and athleticism are the core attraction of the most popular spectator sports. It is not unusual to see an entirely Black starting lineup for professional football and basketball games, the two most popular spectator sports. All noteworthy sports records are now in the hands of Blacks, or soon will be. Rap music has totally engulfed the youth of every nation that hears it, just as did blues, jazz, and rock & roll before it. Hip Hop in every nation and language fuels everything from the nation’s dance parties, to its commercial advertising, to its political revolutions.
Originally, whites like Al Jolson and George Burns made careers by actually painting their faces pitch black, affecting a mock Black dialect, and dancing and singing like Blacks for the white audiences that thronged to see them. They called themselves “coon singers” and “minstrel singers,” and the very first Broadway shows and Hollywood movies all featured these blackface performers. European composer Gunther Schuller said: “The blacks have always invented the music. The whites take it over. Then the blacks invent something new.”
He was describing the culture bandits—the Gershwins, the Elvises, the Pat Boones, the Hall & Oates, the Claptons, the Osmonds, the Timberlakes, the Winehouses, the Eminems, the Backstreet Boys, and the Madonnas. Today, the charts are filled with the pale-skinned wannabes of the Motown legacy, including Adele, Duffy, Justin Bieber, Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor, Joss Stone, Sam Smith, and Macklemore. These imitators are simply going where the money is and catering to a white consumer that needs to see his/her entertainers singing Black whilst being white.
But those who sit behind the scenes counting the cash have always maintained an exclusive hold over the incredible riches and talent. The business agents, managers, producers, publishers, distributors, and copywriters; the team owners, coaches, lawyers, vendors, media, advertisers, studio heads, etc.—a colossal financial enterprise—are almost entirely white, and, just as in the post-slavery sharecropping South, overwhelmingly Jewish. For every talented Black athlete and entertainer, there are thousands of whites siphoning a living for their families. The names of the stars are well known, but in America there are at least 403,000 people making on average $45,000 a year off the backs of these Black individuals in the fields of performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries.
Possibly the most glaring and widespread exploitation of Black talent is found in college sports, where Black athletes fill stadiums with paying customers—as with the estimated $940 million March Madness spectacle in college basketball—but receive not a single penny for their marketable talent. The only similar business model is slavery itself. If the Black athlete accepts a sandwich or a stick of gum, he is subject to severe penalties. Meanwhile, his white coaches and his school’s athletic departments may—and do—enter into multi-million-dollar private contracts with merchandisers, advertisers, and media corporations.
The coaching services of NCAA football’s number-one ranked University of Alabama’s Nick Saban “earn” him a shocking $7 million per year, whilst the players—white and Black—do ALL the actual work. They bank nothing, even as Saban’s off-field empire grows. He has 23 money-making entities across 5 states, including two Mercedes-Benz dealerships, two apartment complexes, a massive mixed-use development, a water company, and a strip mall—all worth millions. The Black players, who generate 100% of Alabama’s ticket sales, are neither granted the opportunity to be partners in Saban’s diversified extra-football portfolio nor offered the “scholarship” to operate on that level of business enterprise.
Rick Pitino’s salary for coaching the Louisville Cardinals basketball team is a reported $7.5 million, and Forbes says the team is worth $45.4 million. The players on his starting 5 are all Black and, together with the rest of the roster, make $0; but they receive, it is claimed, scholarships (and prostitutes) in lieu of actual compensation. Perhaps they garner discounts at the fast food franchises owned by Pitino, such as Papa John’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Outback Steakhouse.
The professional circuit is hardly any better. The individual Black performer who becomes a “star” sometimes realizes a measure of personal financial gain, but the real money is that which (s)he generates: a behind-the-scenes business operation that is highly lucrative and exclusively white controlled.