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Musician, Known For Work With Chambers Brothers, Assaulted For Dedicating Song To Trayvon Martin


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Lester Chambers, a seventy-three year-old musician known for his work as a member of The Chambers Brothers, was assaulted on stage at a blues festival last night after he dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin.

Chambers’ son, Dylan, posted the following on Facebook last night: “Lester was just assaulted on stage at The Russell City Hayward Blues Festival by a crazed woman after dad dedicated People Get Ready to Trayvon Martin. He is on the way to the hospital now.”

Kurt Crowbar Kangas, a musician and friend of Lester’s, later posted in the comments thread:

Lester is fine, just a bit sore and he will feel it tomorrow, the woman who attacked him was white and yelled something like “
it’s all your fault
” before she hit him, he went down hard but was halfway caught by Barren, thank God, she was subdued by Police and taken away while the para-medics came and took him to a local Hospital where he went thru a series of cat scans, no broken bones, the only injury for now is a 8″ scratch in the kidney area of his back and it’s starting to swell. Thank you for all your well wishes, he will be up and running soon.

Lester apparently dedicated the classic song, “People Get Ready,” by The Impressions to Martin. The woman heard the dedication and attacked him.

His son posted a photo of Lester’s injury to Facebook. He said he had a “bruised rib and nerve damage” and was “sore all over.”

There was a lot of talk, particularly by Zimmerman supporters, about how there would be riots if Zimmerman was acquitted. So far, all that we know happened that was violent was this attack and an attack on peaceful protesters by the Los Angeles police, who fired rubber bullets at them.

Over fourteen months ago, Lester posted an “I Am the 99%” photo. The Occupy movement was still making headlines and a sign he held up read:

I am the former lead singer of a 60′s band. I performed before thousands at Atlanta Pop 2, Miami Pop, Newport Pop, Atlantic Pop. I did not squander my money on drugs or a fancy home. I went from 1967-1994 before I saw my first royalty check. The music giants I recorded with only paid me for 7 of my albums.

I have never seen a penny in royalties from my other 10 albums I recorded. Our hit song was licensed to over 100 films, TV and commercials without our permission. One major TV network used our song for a national commercial and my payment was $625 dollars.

I am now 72, trying to live on $1200 a month. Sweet Relief, a music charity is taking donations for me. Only the 1% of Artist can afford to sue. I am the 99%.

He told VICE in an interview in May 2012 other musicians were in “the same boat” as him.

“There are so many. And so many different members of different bands. There are a lot of cases where two or three members did well and two or three didn’t. So many, I can’t begin to give you names,” Lester said.

The good news is that Lester has recorded a new album after raising over $69,000 with a Kickstarter project. It is an opportunity for the “internet public” to right a wrong committed by the music industry.

“People Get Ready” is a song that The Chambers Brothers recorded for their album “The Time Has Come” in 1967 (which included a version of the group’s most well-known song, “Time Has Come Today”).

The song reflected the times. Written by the late great musician Curtis Mayfield, “People Get Ready” was written after Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington, and it resonated with those fighting racial injustice and oppression because of the universal gospel message that, if people continued to persist in their struggle, they could prevail.

As the song goes:

People get ready, there’s a train a-comin’

You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board

All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’

Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

It is an incredibly appropriate song to dedicate to Trayvon. There may be no punishment for what George Zimmerman did when he killed Trayvon, but don’t let this be demoralizing. Keep on fighting. Challenge the law that gives self-appointed vigilante neighborhood watchmen the cover to claim self-defense after profiling a young black teenager and escape having to serve serious time in jail.


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No, this is the soul group not the Detroit gang.

As for why I put this up, it all comes down to attitudes. The white attacker blamed the black singer for causing the views and mindset that lead to issues of racial disharmony in post racial America. In the States, there is a notion among some whites (and even some deluded Blacks) that if the Blacks forgot about slavery and the problems of the last few centuries then it would be a lot easier for both sides to coexist. Mainly because it would sweep the legacy of the past actions under the carpet and it would be harder to talk about the racial implications when a white person decides he is threatened and kills a black kid. The mentality of the bigotted whites though would still exist and lead to a repeat of the problems that Blacks have faced in the past. Like nowadays they are given misinformation about election days or put off voting altogether. Or have their economic opportunities attacked in order to force them into lifestyles that lead to even more problems. You get what I'm talking about.

Why is that relevant to us? Well we are told the same thing. The muslims tell us that we should forgot our past with another. Why? So when grooming or child bullying issues come up, it's harder to blame them, their culture and their religion. It's all about them and our lot are too dumb to see it. If we forget the past and dont bring up the issue of race and religion when it comes to these hate crimes then the predatory group feel unthreatened and proceed to carry on with their behaviour. A behaviour that it all about taking from us, hurting us and making themselves feel better than us. Some of our lot even join in. Katy Sian, Sunny Hundal, that bloke from City Sikhs etc.

The English are no better. They teach a skewed version of our history and culturally attempt to hobble us. All to make us feel like we shouldnt mind them hating us and the abuse we get from it for just being different, encouraging mixed race relationships to make us feel bad or racist for not assimilating or to create a sense of insecurity when faced with theirs or other immigrant cultures that they are more open to having around.

Unless we stand up for ourselves and realise the games of others we will always have the blame pinned on us in some kind of eternal guilt trip - something that whites and coconuts in the states are trying to innoculate in the mainstream Black community. Not every race wants the same thing. I am beyond caring about others and their wants, it's time we put our people first. If others wish to seek validation from others for who they are, they can.

Edited by HSD1
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