War and Treaty considers cotton plant in locker room a “security issue”

War and Treaty considers cotton plant in locker room a “security issue”
War and Treaty considers cotton plant in locker room a “security issue”

War and Treaty.

Jesse Grant/Getty Photos for the Recording Academy

When Michael Trotter Jr. and wife Tania Trotter went to perform at the Coca-Cola Sips & Sounds Music Competition in Austin, Texas, they were greeted by a cotton plant in their dressing room.

“We all know what that means,” Michael said. The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, July 3. “We all know what that means in this country for people who look like us. I felt anger. I felt disrespect. I felt sadness.”

Michael and Tanya, 46, who perform as nation duo The Battle and Treaty, did not reveal who left the cotton plant — a symbol of slavery as many black people were forced to work in the cotton fields before emancipation in the United States — in their dressing room. They also performed at the pageant as planned after the couple, who have been married since 2010, had a conversation with their son, Legend, about the incident.

“When I demanded that we quickly leave this party and get the hell out of there, Tanya and I had a moment in our resort room where we wanted to address our son, Legend, who is 12, and he ended up addressing us,” Michael said. “He said it was not the time to be quiet about it. He was very upset and understood exactly what it meant. He is home-schooled and knows what that means, and he doesn’t know what it means because [Tanya] And I sat down and put it into his head.”


The Battle and Treaty singers Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter bring their love story to life every time they take the stage. The couple met in 2010 and soon tied the knot, but Michael initially thought he had blown his chance with his current wife. “We started working and dating a little bit professionally… […]

Michael felt especially “betrayed” because a cotton plant was left in the locker room.

“Sadness not only for what that plant represents to people who look like me, but sadness for myself because I am a son of this country. I served this country honorably in the United States Army 16th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division,” Michael said. El thr“I feel hurt by that service. I talk a lot about my wounds and my scars… It’s not fair. It’s something that white artists don’t have to worry about at all.”

For Tanya, the incident was particularly “hard” because she was “the granddaughter of a sharecropper.”

Monica Schipper/Getty Photos for the Recording Academy

“My grandfather actually bought the plantation that he picked cotton on in New Bern, North Carolina. My family still lives there,” Tanya said. “So when you see these things, you look at them and you think, ‘Wow, even though my grandfather bought the plantation, there’s still a lot of pain embedded in it for people who didn’t have the opportunity to turn it into economic development for their families.’”


When the nominations for the 66th Grammy Awards were announced in November, The Battle and Treaty weren’t eager to hear their name called — they were just trying to catch a plane. “We were so used to being ignored year after year that we just didn’t pay attention,” said band member Michael Trotter Jr. […]

She continued: “This should not happen. Beyond it being just about racism, it is now something broader. It is now a question of security because we have to feel safe coming to these festivals.”

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Tanya also stressed that music festivals have to be “safe” for people of color, who plan to attend shows and come to be entertained.

“That’s the stance I take as we move forward in this genre and the spaces expand not just for us but for everyone,” she said. “Anybody who has melanin in their skin, you have to provide a safe environment.”

The Coca-Cola Sips & Sounds Music Competition has not publicly addressed the incident in the Trotters’ locker room. We weekly has I got in touch for comment.

 
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