R.I.P. Jesse Powell

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Jesse Powell died Tuesday of cardiac arrest at age 51. His sisters Tamara and Trina, made the announcement on Instagram that Powell died at his Los Angeles home. The three of them relocated from their native Gary, Indiana to Los Angeles for careers as vocalists. The younger sister siblings became known in the latter part of the decade as Trina & Tamara. Jesse Powell emerged in 1996 with his self-titled debut album. The  recording had his signature song “You” and stunning covers of Enchantment’s “Gloria” and “It’s You That I Need.” “You” was released as a single again on his 1996 sophomore album ‘Bout It. Powell’s rare four-octave range and unrestrained emotion made him a cause célébre crooner of the era. He recorded four studio albums and the 2003 release simply titled Jesse was his last. 





Flo Milli Headlining Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Tour

Flo Milli is going on her first headlining tour of North America presented by Monster Energy with support from Monaleo. The tour is to support her debut album, You Still Here, Ho? released earlier in the summer. The Alabama rapper made her MTV debut this year with performances of “Conceited” and “Bed Time.” It was only two years ago when Flo Milli’s Ho, Why Is You Here? mixtape came out.  She started posting music on Soundcloud in 2018 and became popular on Tik Tok the next year. Since then, she has been co-signed by Missy Elliott, nominated for Best New Artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards and reached gold status for her singles “Beef Flomix” and “In The Party.” The artist believes partnering with Monster Energy for the tour is ideal and had this to say, “The best partnership to match my energy is that of a MONSTER. For me and the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour to join forces this fall is going to be a party that you don’t want to miss.” The tour starts on October 18th in Atlanta and has major stops in more than 10 major cities with the last show taking place at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles on November 16th. Tickets are on sale now.  



Aretha Franklin Was The Subject Of FBI Surveillance

Aretha Franklin was monitored by the FBI for her civil rights activities as revealed by a 270-page declassified file. Journalist Jenn Dize requested the document using the Freedom Of Information Act. Franklin’s relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King and her overall interest in Black politics put her on the FBI’s radar. The agency paid close attention to the concerts she performed for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference where King was the president. The organization had planned a big memorial concert for King after his assassination in 1968 and Franklin was scheduled to perform but they changed plans and opted to have a march to Morehouse.

The singer once talked about paying to get Angela Davis out of jail when the activist/scholar was jailed in an upstate New York prison because she was the owner of the guns Jonathan Jackson used in a California courthouse attack. She also performed at a fundraiser given for Davis in 1972 and this was another affiliation the FBI monitored. The organization linked Franklin to the Coordinating Counsel for the Liberation Of Dominica and they also looked at her communication with the Black Panthers.

The file also has documentation of multiple death threats against Franklin including one she received in 1979 after her father C.L. Franklin had passed. There is information about a lawsuit filed on behalf of Franklin regarding copyright infringement in connection to Yahoo! Groups message board and a participant who sold pirated copies of her music and performances. Franklin was one of several entertainers surveilled under J. Edgar Hoover’s leadership of the FBI. Hoover was overzealous about the political actions of famous figures especially Black ones like Dr. King and Franklin because of his well-documented fear of “the rise of a messiah” who could unify Black people. Dize’s discovery is a reminder of the influence artists have and the power of music. Franklin’s version of Otis Redding’s “Respect” was adopted early as a civil cights and feminist anthem.


FindingErotica.com Honors Sexual Health Month Celebrating Diversity with “Skin Anthology” Video Series Launch

Sharonette Briggs / Photo Credit: Phillip Kemp Photography

Los Angeles – Seven years ago, mother, grandmother and pole athlete / movement instructor, Sharonette Briggs, found herself stuck in a dead-end job and dealing with a devastating personal loss. In addition, her business partner, Thomas McKenna was confronted with a cancer diagnosis that forced him to reconfigure his life in very basic and intimate terms.  As a coping mechanism, McKenna started a daily writing routine using words to turn his anxiety and pain into power. He shared some of his stories with Briggs and a vision was formulated to create a platform using art and writing as a healing diversion. Finding Erotica (FE) was born.  

Initially just books and blogs, Finding Erotica has evolved into an educational platform that provides information, resources, and discussion regarding sexual wellness with a focus on mature adults.  In alignment with Sexual Health Month, celebrated each year in September, Finding Erotica, in conjunction with Bad Academic Productions, has announced the launch of “Skin Anthology,” a new video series that complements their portal.

Finding Erotica provides an expansive online presentation ranging from books and blogs to workshops and an online adult store. With “Skin Anthology” the site presents a boudoir video series aimed at exploring self-discovery, sexual exploration, empowerment, and wellness. These subjects and more are deconstructed via artistic sexual expression and conversational reveals.

“We initially set out to create a space that provided the kind of support my business partner was searching for but couldn’t find.  He was battling health issues that impacted his masculinity,” expressed Sharonette Briggs, co-founder of Finding Erotica.  “He felt alone but he wasn’t.  Thousands of men and women face health issues that hinder their sexuality. Finding Erotica had a vision to connect people with a mission of establishing an online community to discuss sexual issues, including those related to post-illness and post-injury intimacy.  Our original community building blocks were books, blogs and audio.  ‘Skin Anthology’ is our first foray into video, and we are very excited!”

“We believe that sexual health must go beyond outdated notions of sex and relationships,” adds Finding Erotica co-founder, Thomas McKenna. “Data suggests that these notions are linked to high incidences of divorce, abuse, intolerance, and severed commitments.  Finding Erotica promotes improved communication skills, open-mindedness to alternative points of view and awareness of practices that help love flourish rather than limit forms of intimate expression. FE has been an encouraging resource for me personally as a prostate cancer survivor.” 

For Finding Erotica, attempting to normalize diverse voices means confronting stereotypes that have kept those voices in the margins and the experience has incurred very real challenges.  “People of color have been and still are hyper-sexualized,” notes Briggs.  “One of the social media platforms that hosts our ‘Skin Anthology’ series shut us down recently, claiming that we violated their sex and nudity policy.  When we investigated other boudoir videos on that same platform, we found them to be far more explicit than ours.  What was the difference? Their videos featured white subjects, ours featured people of color. After three appeals detailing the discrepancy, we were finally reinstated. In a sense, what we must do is not just normalize diverse perspectives and confront stereotypes, but also humanize those who are too often left out of the mainstream.”

“Skin Anthology” is an engaging series of short features, released every Friday, that explore sexuality as part of being human, regardless of age, gender identity, health status or race. With the discovery and learning about the infinitely interesting depths of relationships, “Skin Anthology” tackles the uninhibited spectrum of passion, vitality, and imagination across contrasting lives.  Highlights include moments when subjects share how they learned about sex, how they overcame shame, embraced taboos, and reveal details of their preferences, practices and identities for the first time. 

Observe Sexual Health Month by visiting FindingErotica.com and delve into their “Skin Anthology” series on any of the popular social media platforms found here on https://linktr.ee/findingerotica.