The soul danger of Alicia Keyes


Recording artist Alicia Keyes is obviously” a big thing, kind of important” as Anchorman Ron Burgundy would say. She is known only to me only through a Bob Dylan song so I checked her out with one of my  hip culture maven daughters—”good pipes but forgettable songs.”

Keyes was pressured by the Boycott Divestment Movement (BDM) to respect the cultural boycott of Israel—very much like the Apartheid boycotts of the 80’s engineered by Little Stevie(Van Zandt (Springsteen’s E Street Band). Playing on the record  ”Ain’t Gonna play Sun City” were Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Peter Gabriel whose tribute to martyr Steve Biko still sends chills up my back.

Sun City was an entertainment mecca in one of the phony “Independent”  bantustans Bophuthatswana. The impresario Sol Kerzner  paid big bucks to lure top entertainers to break the cultural boycott. He  enticed  among others  Queen,Rod Stewart, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Canada’s own Paul Anka, Tina Turner, Elton John  and  Dionne Warwick”. They all pleaded that they were “non-political.

Well, Alicia Keyes took the blood money and played there in July. She came up with this lame bromide: “Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”


The fierce justice woman, author Alice  Walker who has refused to translate The Color Purple into Hebrew wrote the youngish (32) Miss Keyes an open letter, forceful but gentle in May, 2013.

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people.

As she  ages she may come to regret her decision.



  1. 1

    Good Job, Alicia! Go get ’em! Follow your conscience and do what you think is right! Don’t be a follower, be a leader!

  2. 2

    A good piece

    And when peace is finally achieved, ted and his socialist and politically informed artists can take the credit.

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