IF THIS weekend’s Made In America festival proved one thing, it showed that not much is made in America anymore.
We used to make steel, cars, clothing and shoes. Now all we make are cat videos and people. And among those people, the only ones who count are the ones who sing, rap or dance in a way that may or may not be deemed bootylicious.
It’s an ugly reality, but Philadelphia is the perfect place to showcase that truth, because the greatest thing about Philadelphia is our people. Philadelphians are real. Philadelphians are tough. Philadelphians can stand for eight hours on the Parkway, cheer through an entire concert and spend the next 24 hours complaining about the experience.
You know why? Because Philadelphians are real Americans. We have a lot, but we’re never satisfied.
That’s why I don’t get the concert organizers’ decision to put Philadelphians on the back burner. Neither Made In America kingpin, Jay Z, nor his wife, Beyoncé, were officially on the bill, which makes me think they treated us like second-class citizens.
Oh, sure, we got to show off some of Philly’s indie bands. We got to see Pharrell Williams sing “Happy” for the millionth time.
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Photo: Kanye West performs at The Museum of Modern Art’s annual Party in the Garden benefit, New York City, Jason Persee. May 10, 2011. Click here to see the original photo. (Jason Persse/Flickr Creative Commons).
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.