By Ralph E. Moore, Jr.

There is a strong local connection to the 64th Annual Grammy Awards Broadcast televised from Las Vegas on April 3. William Martin March, son of Priscilla and Erich March, is an Atlanta DJ whose program airs weekly for the entertainment of the little ones. Will (known as DJ Willy Wow!) is a bright, engaging performer who is armed with talent and truth-telling inclinations.  

He was nominated for a Grammy for an album entitled, “One Tribe Collective” and his song on it is, “There’s Nothing Wrong with the Black Crayon.”

Unbeknownst to Will March or Ceylon Wise, IV at the time of their involvement with the album’s production is that their fathers were schoolmates at Loyola High School in Towson: Erich March in the class of 1970 and Rev. Dexter Wise, III in the class of 1972.  

According to Spectrum News “The Wise family created the song “For All” in July of 2020 in response to the protests and racial injustice they saw across the U.S. Soon after they released the single, they were asked to be a part of One Tribe Collective.

“There were 26 Black family music artists who joined forces to put this collaborative project called ‘All One Tribe’ together and we’re proud to be a part of that number,” said Ceylon Wise, one of the arrangers for the album. 

One Tribe Collective is made up of [26] families everywhere from New York to California. “All One Tribe” is a true pandemic project made from a collaboration of Zoom calls, emails, and voice memos. After its [July 2020] release, the project received nothing but positive feedback. It brings a variety of music including funk, jazz, R&B and reggae.”

Erich March is a longtime leader of the March Funeral Homes and King Memorial Park Cemetery along with his siblings.  Reverend Dexter Wise, III is pastor of Faith Ministries Church in Columbus, Ohio.  Needless to say, they are bursting with pride for their sons and family.

The Ohio-based Wise family (Ashley, Ceylon and their children) were informed of their Grammy nomination during the Thanksgiving holidays from Jon Batiste, famed musician, songwriter and world traveling performer. It had only been five months since the album had been released. 

Will March is rated Atlanta’s number one kid performer and disc jockey. Ceylon Wise and his family will keep singing joyfully until their next musical project. The two discovered their connection at the Grammy Awards ceremony that night.  What a coincidence!

Then there is Marvin Campbell of the class of 1987 at Loyola High School. Campbell also has a courageous, creative and upwardly climbing son (literally).  He is Frederick Douglass Campbell, a member of the very first all-Black crew off to scale Mount Everest the tallest mountain in the world and located in the nation of Nepal. They headed off for their destination country on April 2.  

It’s a nine-member team including Fred, a star athlete, who sadly broke his neck while playing college football at Stanford. “I hope others see our expedition as shattering barriers [literally and figuratively], Fred wants others to see the all-Black team and be inspired to try things, especially persons who look like him.” 

Fred and his dad, Marvin, once climbed the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania.  He has sky-dived, climbed mountains and loved the outdoors. He loves adventure.  

Marvin Campbell also said, “Some of you have asked if there is any way to follow the team on its journey.”

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