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Black leaders stage protest against eliminated Grammy categories

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Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012 8:39 am

Educators/activists/rapper Dr. Cornel West and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are leading a group of artists and executives who are demanding cultural diversity from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

NARAS is the organization that produces the annual Grammy Awards, which honors the top performing music artists, producers and engineers, in a variety of categories.

But The Grammys has been under fire for sweeping changes the organization has made to the categories.

Dr. West and Rev. Jesse Jackson are working with artists/organizations like Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, and now,, in the battle to restore diversity to The Grammys., which is the largest online Latino advocacy organization in the U.S., has joined in the growing criticism of The Grammys.

The artists and activists are upset that NARAS eliminated a number of categories, comprised mostly of ethnic music.

Categories like Gospel, R&B, Traditional and Contemporary Jazz, Latin Jazz, Traditional and Contemporary Blues, Cajun/Zydeco, Polka, Mexican Norteña, Native American and Hawaiian music have been eliminated.

To make matters worse, the activists say the changes were done without the knowledge of the organizations 21,000 members.

Over the past year, the Grammys have come under fire for their alleged lack of diversity in honoring all forms of music.

Information from contributed to this report.

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