Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mercy Morganfield's Facebook Post Regarding Kenny Wayne Shepard, The Blues Foundation, and Systemic Racism w/ Foundation and KWS Responses

 Her post was removed from Facebook, so here it is for the record:


“The Way My Daddy Looks At a White Man Winning a Blues Foundation Music Award While Waving A Fucking Confederate Flag

Blues Foundation— have y’all lost your minds? It has come to my attention that a winner of the Blues Foundation Award for Best Blues Something or Other proudly displayed a Confederate Flag on his social media pages, drove around with it on his fucking car.

When this was pointed out to the Blues Foundation the official statement is “We are not a political organization.”


What do you all think the Blues is at it’s core? At its foundational roots? If not political?

This type of shit is not just pissing off black people; it is pissing off a lot of white people who understand the blues at a deeper level than “a white man growling out what he thinks sounds like Howling Wolf.”

The problem with blk folks in the blues is the wyte guys can always find that one blk guy who agrees to turn the other cheek.

They can always find that one blk musician who won’t rock the boat.

Won’t question the status quo.

Won’t tell them they are appropriating when they are.

Won’t tell them they do not understand blk history or the history of this country at a nuanced enough level to make racial judgement calls.

Will allow them to compartmentalize blues as just music and race as just politics.

The white folks in the blues industry put those type of blk people on Boards and in Leadership positions.

And that is one of the main problems.

The second problem are the blk folks. Yes, I’m about to talk about y’all’s blk asses.

Whenever you have an industry heavily dominated by wyte men— colonized and coopted by wyte men. Blk folks become “step and fetch it” by default.

They become messy, gossipy, old bitches who would rather turn each other in then come together and overthrow the monarchy.

They fall quickly into the role of House N#gg@s and Field N#gg@s.

Erebody wants to be a House N#gg@.

And to become one, the massahs need you to turn on the field N#gg@s.

So they won’t book you. They won’t invite you to play in Blues festivals. They blackball you from the industry. Work dries up. And blk blues musicians continue feeding from wyte men’s tits.

Lemme tell y’all blk asses something.

My daddy did it because he had no choice. He was born in the early twentieth century when a blk man could become strange fruit in the blink of an eye. What is your excuse in 2021. Daddy had a third grade education. He never worked in exchange for a Cadillac like “they” want to depict in the movies. He knew exactly how much money Chess Records owed him— but a black man in the fifties had no legal recourse— none. They were just glad not to have to be share croppers.

Daddy’s greatest rebellion was refusing to return to Mississippi to perform. He avoided the Confederate Flag- worshipping southern states altogether.

That was then and this is now.

What is y’all’s excuse? Why haven’t y’all descended on the Blues Foundation in droves and demand they rescind that award to that motherfucking racist?

“We are not a political organization.” They whine. “Well, you are now!” You state emphatically.

What is wrong with y’all!

The blues was a political language. It was the language of the voiceless. The powerless. The MEN like my father who had no recourse.

My dad wrote “I’m a man, not a boy.”

What do wyte racists call black men ?

Do you still think Dad’s song was not political?

I resigned from the Blues Foundation board last week. I did not have the bandwidth to manage board participation after my brother and grandmother’s deaths. I really believe my wyte and blk colleagues on the board have the best intentions to “do the right thing.” I also believe progressive voices, like mine, are often suppressed by old fart ass members who have done the same thing, the same way, for 20+ years and won’t hear that their baby they created in 1981 no longer fits the bill in 2021.

All boards suffer with the malady of old timers who refuse to progress.

I say all the time that the blues is a music genre, an art form, a historical political stance, that has been coopted by wyte men who subsequently put it in a little cage and wouldn’t allow it to grow or evolve.

Every music form has been allowed an evolution. If country music had not been allowed to evolve beyond the music of Conway Twitty then the renaissance of country music that has florished today would have never happened.

My dad would have never wanted to see the Blues, his Blues, die in a wyte man’s cage because that wyte man wanted to keep it all to himself and call it protection.

Young blk people can’t play the blues because wyte men have to produce them and promote them and exploit them. Brown people can’t play the blues for the same reason. But take a young wyte guy with a modicum of talent who gets on a stage and does his best impersonation of Muddy Waters and bingo bango—he’s a rising star.

And that’s some bullshit.

And that is why 90% of the blues awards attendees are middle-age, balding, white men with ponytails.

All of them hollering about keeping the blues alive— when they’re the ones killing it.

All of them trying to find those 1 or 2 black folks to legitimize them. The brilliance of a guy like Christone "Kingfish" Ingram is allowed — a fixed pie—while the brilliance of millions of other aspiring black and brown blues musicians are stifled under their watchful, mediocre gaze.

This is some bullshit people.

They are pushing upon me all the fucking time from every angle to get me to sell my dad’s publishing rights, likeness, and image. Because these MFers need to claim ownership of all they see. They can’t just listen to and enjoy Dad’s music they need to control it.

Definition of White-Man-Itis: everyone must suckle from a wyte man’s tits.

The Blues is like a dragon, bitches, it cannot be tamed. It cannot be owned. It cannot be enslaved. And wyte blues artists sucks its titties not the other way around.

It was born in bondage. In the southernmost part of the Mississippi delta. Where a confederate flag represented the very bondage it was born into and the very men who would gladly have hanged McKinley Morganfield from a tree if he was in their town after sundown.

Now, you give a blues award to a man who feels the need to decorate his fucking car with a Confederate Flag? That’s a brand new kind of stupid. How fucking tone deaf are you?

The blues is more than just a music genre that’s what you are missing.

It should be shared with and cherished by all people, all races, all genders, everywhere who are willing to not only love the music but understand the suffering from which the music was born.


If one of the whitest institutions in American history, NASCAR, can ban the Confederate Flag, Blues Foundation, why can’t you?

You are not a political organization? You say. BULLSHIT! Every organization in America is political right now!Don’t you dare hide behind the skirts of neutrality to keep you from doing what you must.

After all, if it wasn’t for men like my father there would be no blues. There would be no wyte men exploiting the blues. There would be no Blues Foundation.

Y’all better remember from whence you came.

Every time you pay your mortgage you got Muddy to thank, and BB and James Cotton and KoKo Taylor and Etta James and Shameka Copeland and Kingfish and Marquise Knox.

That motherfucker waving the Confederate flag ain’t put nan dime in your pocket. So why the fuck are you lining his?

Write the Blues Foundation and tell them you do not agree. Thx” 

Mercy Morganfield

March 18, 2021

The Blues Foundation has rescinded Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 2021 Blues Music Awards (BMA) nomination for Blues Rock Artist. The BMAs will be presented virtually on June 6, 2021. The decision to rescind the nomination is in keeping with the Foundation’s Statement Against Racism (March 15, 2021) which asserts “The Blues Foundation unequivocally condemns all forms and expressions of racism, including all symbols associated with white supremacy and the degradation of people of color.  We will hold ourselves as well as all blues musicians, fans, organizations, and members of the music industry accountable for racist actions and encourage concrete commitments to acknowledge and redress the resulting pain.”

The decision to rescind the nomination was based upon continuing revelations of representations of the Confederate flag on Shepherd’s “General Lee” car, guitars and elsewhere.  The Blues Foundation has also asked Ken Shepherd, father of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, to step down as a member of its Board of Directors.  The Blues Foundation states that it is resolute in its commitment to purposefully address racism and contribute to a more equitable blues community.

The Blues Foundation is widely acknowledged as the foremost non-profit blues organization with more than 4,000 members and nearly 200 affiliated blues societies across the globe.  The Foundation preserves blues heritage, celebrates blues recording and performance, expands worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensures the future of the uniquely American art form.  The BMAs are generally recognized as the highest honor given to blues musicians. The Best Blues/Rock Artist is one of 25 BMA categories that are awarded by vote of Blues Foundation members.  In addition to the BMAs, the Foundation also presents the International Blues Challenge, as well as Blues in the Schools, the HART Fund which provides grants to cover the medical needs of blues artists and, most recently, the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund which has distributed more than $250,000 to address the urgent needs of blues musicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


March 18, 2021 at 4:19pm 

"I have just learned that the Executive Committee of the Blues Foundation Board of Directors has made the decision to rescind my nomination for the 2021 Blues Rock Artist of the Year award. 

We have been told this decision has been made because In recent days, concerns have been raised regarding one of the cars in my muscle car collection. The car was built 17 years ago as a replica and homage to the iconic car in the television series, The Dukes of Hazzard. That CBS show was one of the highest rated and most popular programs of its era and like millions of others, I watched it every week. In the show, one of the central ‘characters’ was a muscle car which displayed a confederate flag on its roof. Years ago I put that car in permanent storage and some time ago, I made the decision to permanently cover the flag on my car because it was completely against my values and offensive to the African American community which created the music I love so much and I apologize to anyone that I have unintentionally hurt because of it. 

I want to make something very clear and unequivocal; I condemn and stand in complete opposition to all forms of racism and oppression and always have."

*Kenny Wayne Shepherd net worth: Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter who has a net worth of $10 million. - 

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