Thursday, February 16, 2006

blackness, still unforgiveable

"In fact, things seem so bad these days that if you're black, British and want to be in the charts, you have to front an indie band (see Bloc Party)"

I bristle at this kind of thinking. Externally-imposed limitations are bad enough, internally-imposed limitations are worse and internally-imposed limitations that go against the historical record are probably the worst. Does Ms. Pool live in a world without Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix or Tina Turner? Or without Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Andrew Hill, Funkadelic, Anthony Braxton or even the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (if you want to go back that far)? All people, among many others, who showed that black music could be anything at all. That "fronting an indie band" is definitely not something to be viewed with suspicion.

Some needed correctives:

The New Danger: article on afro-punkism documentary
Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race, and Humanity: a long, interesting and detailled article based on a book by the same name
Confronting America's Racial Divide, in Blackface and White: sounds gimmicky, but I'll be downloading the first episode in march