June Highlights: “96 Till Infinity”, how 1996 became the year that birthed musical legends; “How The 90s Changed Everything” salutes the artists who reinvented standards in the music industry; and “Daddy’s Home”, an inspiring profile of Gerald Hamilton’s life fostering over 100 children
CHICAGO – Known as one of the most prolific, and talented musicians of our generation, we honor Prince Rogers Nelson’s lifetime of music and artistry. In this special edition, EBONY reflects on Prince’s career, humanity, and all around genius in a 13-article tribute (p. 89). In the feature, “Prince: The Ebony Experience”, former EBONY editor Lynn Norment writes of the poignant and personal interviews she captured with Prince and his father, musician and composer, John L. Nelson. In his words to her, Prince states, “I was always different. I continued to evolve. Thank God.”
CNN political commentator Van Jones, ESPN Host and Op-Ed writer Bomani Jones, and veteran music journalist and Author Marshall Lewis are among the writers that share their thoughts, experiences, and insight in this rare and informative edition celebrating the life of Prince.
The June issue of EBONY magazine typically celebrates music, dads, and the anticipation of summer. With the untimely death of Prince, rap legend Phife, and Chicago radio legend Doug Banks, EIC Kierna Mayo boldly confesses that “Sometimes It Snows In April.” In her Editor’s Letter (p. 12), she writes, “You may want me to have words, but, dearly beloved, I have none. My peers have spoken for me – and all of us – in this, what you are holding, the Black Music Month Commemorative Issue of EBONY that we cried our way through.”
Sean A. Malcolm’s article “96 Till Infinity” (p. 18) exposes the infamous year when an elite group of Hip Hop and R&B Legends were crowned. Artists including Tupac, The Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Maxwell, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu created quintessential music that defined a generation and influenced a musical landscape. In addition, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, NWA, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, and Whitney Houston are featured in the article “How The 90s Changed Everything” (p. 120). This group of mega artists flipped the recording industry and instituted a new way of how American listened and consumed music and defined pop culture.
Alongside Black Music Month, EBONY celebrates fatherhood. “Elevate Daddy’s Home” (p. 68) is a strong and bold real life story of father and retired Chicago Detective Gerald Hamilton. Staff writer, Ian F. Blair, captures Hamilton’s life as a foster father to more than 100 children in the span of 40 years. Hamilton’s grandmother – to whom he was a caregiver while she battled Parkinson’s disease – inspired him to open his home and care for the many children caught in the foster care system. He felt that he needed to step up to the plate and aid children in need of a good home. Hamilton also says, “My mother, who was an administrator for the Detroit Public Schools, once told me that the most important role a Black man can fulfill is that of a father, and to be involved in his children’s lives. I took that seriously.”
Additionally, the June issue also breaks down “Juneteenth” (p. 87), a celebration marking which marks when the last slaves in the United States were freed; how to cash in on AirBnB (p. 84); and how to balance life when you’re trying to do too much in the article “All Poured Out” by EBONY Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux (p. 26).