Black History Culture : WHITE PEOPLE, AND BLACK CULTURE BANDITRY...

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Isaiah, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Or is it really banditry???

    Is it theft of our culture, or is it neglect and the easy relinquishing of a thing we do not value???

    Brother Sunship briefly touched on the rarity of African Americans playing the banjo, and African instrument which our forebears brought to this hemisphere, and which is still played by African Brazilians in their version of the Blues, called Chorro... Why did African Americans relinquish that instrument to the White Appalachian Blue Grass Whites??? Is it that we didn't value that instrument, and the playing of it because we hated ourselves and all things African??? Is he answer REALLY that simple, or are there far more complex reasons behind they way we do the things we do???

    Frankly, I think there are, but I don't want to write no books on it up in here... I would that we would do MORE thinking about this, rather than simply attributing everything to our self-hate... The Jazz cats of the Bebop era didn't hate themselves, and it is THEY who make this phenomena very complex... The Bluesmen who came to Chicago in the 1920's, and beyond, and helped popularize the electrification of the Blues, did not hate themselves, either - nor did the West Coast cats like Mr Thibideax T-Bone Walker, first electic Bluesman, hate himself... They loved their art and culture, and sought to make it grow through their creativity on all fronts...

    Yet, in their expanding the vocabulary of the greatest library of music in the world, these musicians changed our tastes, because it is not the people who change what the musicians play, nor is the musicians who change what the people want to hear... It is a symbiotic relationship, so what happened??? Why did African musicians cease doing the Blues and Swing and Jump and Soul??? Or did they???(smile!) Let's give this some thought... I'd love to hear you guys thoughts on this topic, Straight, No Chaser...



    Peace!
    isaiah
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I honestly think it is both brother Isaiah. White people steal many aspects of our culture, but we give them access to it. When ever a white person shows interest in a black music form, we become "flattered" and mentor them in it. We even "legitimize" them by bringing them into our labels or producing their works. Then these white artist bring in their people as an audience (an audience seven times the size of ours), and we are left to wonder how these white folks took over. As a result black folk then start another form of music to claim for their own; only to again get "flattered" when a white person shows interest............the circle continues!
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You know what, brother Pan, I gotta say that it might not always be that simple... Oft with these older musicians, there was what they thought was an economic component to dealing with Whites and our culture.. They oft owned the Means Of Production - as they do now - and we were outside of that machinery... Many of the older brothers clearly felt that "giving away" our old African secrets was part of the bargain of getting in the door, or over that huge White Wall of economic injustice...

    On another level, African American Jazz musicians of the 1930's, it is said, actually made a conscious effort to separate themselves from the untutored White Mob of swing band musicians taking over their thang, by stepping up their level of creativity... Hence, we got BeBop... So it is not always as simple as it appears to the outsider, you and me...

    Of course, once we sold our goods to the devil, it was his to keep - and he did! You know how many of those great blues musicans sold the rights to their songs to White recording companies and producers, and those songs, today, have the names of White people as the writers of these BLUES SONGS on them??? Of course, they could care less what any discriminating BLUES enthusiast or researcher proves the inauthencity of their writting of these songs... Their concern was the years of royalties that would accrue to them and their progeny...

    Lastly, the whole idea of popular recordings means that those in control will dictate to us what is "going to be" popular, so Black people are victims of this machine as others are in the society... It is like our choices are made for us by those who control the industry, so it is not necessarily a question of us "discarding" OUR CULTURE, as some suggest... It is a little more complicated than that... We don't live in a vacuum, unaffected by the vortex of events in our society... We are as much victims of societal events and popular culture, as others..

    You know, our young brothers think that RAP is what is happening today, because it is so tight, and all that... But I assure them that had RAP not proved to be able to make these record companies some money, they'd be callin' somethin' else BOMB and TIGHT... That is how this thing works, brother



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Isaiah, I just wanted to stop by and just recognize your commitment to these subjects. I want to dig into this thread a little deeper latter…

    But like you said in another thread…"Just look at the lack of interest in these subjects."

    Fela said, “Music is the weapon.” We Black folks, enjoy music so much and are so busy relating to the most common denominator of the science we have forgotten about the true purposes of our music and all we do now is react to the beat. We are being conquered by a corrupted use of our music as we speak. Music is more influential on the psyche and subconsciousness of our people than is understood.

    The broader Black community is losing their relationship to the metaphysics of this sacred language…its slowly slipin’ away.

    We have no respect for our griots, our culture, our history or our true story. I’m sorry to say we are becoming a shallow people.

    We can talk about all of the politics and history of whites stealing our music, but it is really about the whites sweeping up and embracing what we throw away!

    Can we blame those who take in starving Black musicians and feed them, open their homes to them, go in debt sometimes to give them a place to play. I’m not green lighting all that whites have done, are doing and will do when it comes to the African American arts, but at some point we need to feel ashamed of our neglect and indifference to our OWN legacy and birthright.

    I know those who say to Black musicians, "it’s all the Black musicians fault", as if they should turn down ALL white money, be it recording contracts, music rights, playing white clubs or giving music lessons to white musicians (as if these brothers don't have families to feed!). These same critics go to work at white owned companies or institutions daily. And never or rarely support Jazz and Blues. At most, they have a marginal relationship with the music and don’t understand that it should be at the “African-center” of their lives.

    I’m just so happen looking at a movie right now called Mitchellville. It's ironic it’s on while I’m typing this post. It’s in part about an old Black Jazz/Classical musician giving a young white boy lawyer some lessons on flute and training him in the ways of the music and the knowledge. There’s more to the story but it is still showing how they get it. It's not just that the brother is teaching this white boy, it’s also the fact that the white boy made the effort to receive the knowledge. Man, I can hardly give this knowledge away to our people! The arrogance, disrespect and disloyalty of our people are almost proverbial.

    Believe it or not, to really have a full discussion of our classical music (Jazz) with more than 2 or 3 people, you have to go to a white online Jazz forum. If that’s not insane what is…. :nuts:

    Peace



     
  5. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The reality is very well stated here and yet we have ignored that the art of music in todays time and with our youth has almost been totally abandoned here in America. Come on, name me a black band today? Where are the future Mandrills, War, EWF, Brass Construction, JBs, Kool and the Gangs, Rufus, Sly and the Family Stones...and others I didn't mention? Our young have neglected an art away that our people started and maintained for thousands of years.

    I give them credit for being able to bite or sample off of our great musicians of the past, but that isn't "creation", it's re-creation. Where are the bad @ss guitarist, bassist, horn players, keyboardist and over all musicians that we have always been known to have? This is how culture dies!!

    Some European came along and told them that it could be done electronically or by computer and suddenly a part of who we are dies in favor of their way instead of the right way. So now a brother can't suddenly wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration and grab an instrument to lay it down...all because they don't know "how to play one".
     
  6. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    At least we still have some today, B.B. King is going on his last world tour.
     
  7. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The way i see it, they attach themselves to any music we make since they know that they cannot match the depth of the sound.
     
  8. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Exactly........I'll add this......"One man's trash is another man's treasure".......

    these younguns that are separating themselves even further from Jazz and Blues ....just don't know no better.......I would feel sorry for them if they weren't so arrogant and dismissive ......that movie Mitchellville sounds like Crossroads ( I hate that flick)....where the old Blues man (a Brother) teaches the young eager student (a white boy) how to play the Blues....the thing is white folk want to learn about it they know more about our music traditions here in America than the majority of us know....this is honestly the only place I can come to talk to other Brothers about Blues,Jazz and such intelligently..... but check it...look at the history of old Blues cats....Robert Johnson,Bukka White, B.B.King (Bukka's cousin) etc....they learned from the Brothers that came before them (and Sisters too)....but at some point things changed and you had Howling Wolf's understudy being Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), John Hurt's understudy being Bob Dylan, B.B. and Clapton and on and on........now the white boys completely bastardized the music but like Sun Ship said at least they wanted to knowledge to use as a foundation Black folk today ain't trying to hear it...don't want it.....don't need it ....would rather hear somebody who's voice is electronically enhanced that sings over a recorded track during live performances and is on stage with no live instruments ......hell a lot of em can't even perform live cuz they know they lacking.........
    I'm working on my kids though teaching em playing them songs......telling them bout the lives some of them Bluesmen lead....kids get a kick out of it....so I'm working on the next generation this one is gwon on yonda and I don't have the time or patience to deal with their new world stuff.......and funky attitudes..........


    MississippiRed
     
  9. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is a very good thread. I would like to also add some things I notice about this particular trend.

    I believe one of the reasons why we as a people give up our musical talent and it is power, is becuse our music is demonized by a society that at the same time embrace's it.

    I believe this double standard and other double standards are why it is so difficult for our people to cope and guard their history in this society. I believe the only solution is to create a society of our own, that celebrates our beauty and spirit in it's entirety, not a society like this one that only celebrates us when it stands to make a profit.
     
  10. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Manasiac, that is a very powerful and insightful comment... I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly... Sometimes we act as if we are a scorned step-child, with nothing to call our own.... We HATE it when Whites adopt our cultural inventions... It is as though they contaminate it with their poisonous presence Problem is, in this society, we can never get away from them, and once their "into" our culture, it's over... We want no part of it anymore.... Such is the vicious cycle with us creating, then abandoning our cultural creations... If lotsa White folks started celebrating Kwanzaa, we'd turn on that too..


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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