The Almighty and Powerful Lisa Fischer

The Almighty and Powerful Lisa Fischer joined us this week for a rousing discussion of her work, the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, the depth of meaning(s) involved in the role Black women play as backup singers and so much more!


  1. Mari-Djata: i hear you still. And of course, if someone really cant eat im not asking for their pledge. Im talking about the so many more of the rest of us who could handle even just $5. im even asking folks to pledge $1 just to show numbers in support. This is also why ive asked people to speak up (at least privately to me) and let me know that they arent pledging for other reasons. Thats cool. But we do need the help and we need signs of support. Today wasn’t a good day. But no, we arent changing, no need for worries there.

  2. Thanks for the response and I definitely agree that more people need to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting that which supports us. No doubt. My point just was that some people are actually considered with eating. However, if there is a political reason why they aren’t supporting, that’s another story that you already addressed.

    And I was just messing when I told said to pander to white folks. Of course, one cannot adequately express humor and sarcasm via text. IMixWhatILike bet not change!

  3. Thanks Mari-Djata. I hear you. But i dont think its harsh to point out the difference between the amount of “likes” and “shares” to the amount of contributions. So on one hand any reluctance to donate to pacifica isnt really relevant to the point i was making. if you dont want to donate to pacifica then dont “like” my requests for support. Or, as i asked on air, let me know publicly or privately why you wont pledge – be it a problem with pacifica or my show. This is one of several contradictions we all struggle with. People who like our show should either make some sort of pledge (thanks again) or at least tell me why they wont or cant pledge (save for financial struggles that are none of my business – im talking principle or politics only). And no, i wonder “pander” to white folks for money for this show. we dont pander to them in our programming and those to whom we do pander should support more. There simply isnt anything on air (that im aware of) that does what we do as well as we do it. Our audience is bigger than it appears to be online (and even there, if we got 10% of those who listen online to pledge any amount we would do well over our goals each week) and we need them to step up. The people we program for and who regularly tune in to it need to drop a few more pennies on it.

  4. 2 major points about this episode in general but the 20 feet from Stardom documentary specifically:

    1) The animalistic and unnatural ways that the white commenters described the Black female backup singer. I’ve never seen the documentary, but the clips that you played had terms like [the woman in question was a] “freak of nature” and (later) I “unleashed her” and how certain women’s careers were “caged.” It is almost how people talk about a untrained wild boar or something. The clips themselves were disturbing in light of the known history between Black female and white male relations.

    2) We know that the majority of rock and pop music is mostly lovey dovey bullshit full of vapid emotionalism and lackluster sensuality. I just wonder how all of these Black women feel singing these powerful ballads of love and devotion for these bands all the while KNOWING that the songs they sing are not about them (ie centering the Black woman as the subject of affections and adoration.) They are giving their immense vocal, emotional/creative/spiritual power to uplift the white woman and her female dominance via white male supremacy via song. It is almost like the Frances Cress Welsing theory in which she likened the tuxedo and little Black dress that white people wear to formal events to actually assuming Black skin, but this time the Black voice is used to convey their loveless love, their senseless (as in the five senses) sensuality, their violent sexuality, and their ineptitude in creating an erotic/romantic world for white love without the soulful impulse of Africanity.

    Those are my two major take aways from this great episode. I was the person from PA who sent a donation (I felt the need to say that so I wouldn’t be one of the people being ‘challenged’ on social media). And perhaps you shouldn’t be so harsh to folks who do not donate to pacifica. Being a Black revolutionary is not the most lucrative of career choices (I still do not have a job –like most of the people I know). If you want more support, making you should start pandering to the white men who habitually steal and live large off of the creative genius of African peoples around the world.


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