Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bound No Longer: In Celebration of African America History Month

Originally posted February 2013

Guest Post:
In celebration of African American History Month join This Woman's Words in welcoming Los Angeles based composer, musician, lyricist and performer John McConnell of ProLyric Productions and John McConnell Music as our guest today.  Please leave your comments below:

Every time I think about ‘Black History Month’, I consider why there is such a thing.  For a long while I thought it was counter-productive – a form of reverse discrimination for people of color to perpetuate the individuality of setting aside an entire month to say, “Hey –focus on our accomplishments”.  The image I’ve always associated with this month is one of enslaved black people in chains and fetters. As an African American I’ve grown to understand just how significant and necessary this month really is.  As we share with the world the many reasons why we’re valuable, we simultaneously rid ourselves of slave clothes (negative labels).  To have an inferiority complex derives from every word, image, and practice that makes one feel that being truly happy is not a right they should enjoy.  Such bondage can and has caused many people to live out an existence of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, but never forging ahead as trailblazers.

I moved to Los Angeles from HoustonTexas ... to follow a passion I’ve had in my heart for many years.  I am a singer/songwriter who enjoys being on stage, but even bigger – for many years now, it’s been my dream for my songs to be in movies.  I’ve always loved how producers use songs to help a dramatic scene become truly dramatic.  Everyday, I purpose to write a new song that inspires all the positive things in life (love, joy, friendship, etc.).  I never run out of words, because that’s the beauty of being human – our words.  But how does a forty-five year old man break into an industry that is completely foreign to him and experience the success of watching feature films with his songs playing as the credits are rolling?  He defies anything poised as a barrier, and yes that includes every negative stereotype concerning his culture.

It’s not just a “black thing” to be told you’re not good enough.  People will always be in competition with each other.  I celebrate victory already, because I’m on the path.  Talking about the path is one thing, but to actually walk it out is what I call victory.  This journey may not be quick, but for me it’s necessary.  I no longer live by labels attached to me, but each day I decide for myself who I am.  If my example can give young black kids an excuse to defy the odds and follow their passions, then by all means I think it’s ok for me to say, Hey – focus on my accomplishments”.

John McConnell is an expert singer/songwriter.  His music weaves R&B, modern rock, hip-hop, pop jazz, and traditional gospel into a seamless fabric.  John founded ProLyric Productions in 2000—a songwriting company of positive, pro-social lyrics. In December of 2007, God impressed upon John to commit to writing an entire song everyday.  John has remained consistent and faithful to this task, and now (almost five years later) has catalogued over 1,600 songs.  ProLyric Productions submits songs for a variety of occasions, all across the United States.  The goal of this venture is for recording artists of all genres to record music written by John McConnell, and for that music to flood the airwaves EVERYWHERE.  It is John’s desire to receive  film and television licensing opportunities for his songs.
John moved to Hollywood, CA to pursue his passion more intently.  You can view at least 114 of Johns songs on You Tube by subscribing to his music channel: ‘John McConnell Music’.  You can also learn more about him by visiting
Contact John McConnell at
Follow John McConnell on Twitter: @ProLyricMusic
Connect on Facebook: ProLyric Productions
Subscribe to YouTube: John McConnell Music