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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Singer attacks 'degrading' images
Jill Scott
Scott won a Grammy award in 2005
Soul singer Jill Scott has branded the portrayal of black women in pop music lyrics and videos "degrading".

The Grammy award-winning star urged the black community to find a way to change the images.

She said: "It is dirty, inappropriate, inadequate, unhealthy and polluted. We can demand more."

Scott was speaking at an Essence Music Festival seminar in Houston, Texas, as part of the US magazine's Take Back the Music campaign.

Self-esteem

She told the audience that if they are offended by these images, they should stop buying the albums and encourage the people in their lives to do the same.

"This is about choosing what we will allow in our lives," she said.

Bobby Brown
Bobby Brown performed with New Edition at the three-day festival

"We can force things. We can change things. Challenge the music industry with your purchasing power."

The seminar - entitled Who You Calling a Ho? Sisters, Take Back Our Sex! - also featured actor Shemar Moore and former video dancer, Karrine Steffans, who wrote the book Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Steffans said a lack of self-esteem led her to dance in hip-hop and rap videos.

"I was always told I was ugly," she said.

"I didn't realise my own power and my own worth."

'You are queens'

The panel addressed the dangers such images present to young girls.

Education and bolstering self-esteem were key to helping them believe they are not a proper representation of black women, the panel concluded.

"Ladies you are queens and you need to believe it," Moore said.

"What do you want and what are you willing to do to get it?"

Other stars who have appeared at the three-day festival included Oscar-winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx and Bobby Brown, who reunited with his former band New Edition to perform two songs.




SEE ALSO
Behaviour adviser's rap warning
23 May 06 |  Education
Singer Seal hits out at rappers
10 Jan 05 |  Entertainment

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