The Desk Annex -  In Honor of Black History Month (2211 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-18 11:36 PM 
To: All  (11 of 30) 
 4286.11 in reply to 4286.10 

The Black National Anthem is "Lift E'vry Voice and Sing." The chords are set to a very strong 4/4 meter. While it's usually sung by a choir, some have attempted to sing it as a solo. Doing it as a solo takes a tremendous amount of skill and artistry because the song's range includes nearly every voice, from baritone to soprano. It would be such a delight to hear it sung by an ensemble with the distinct registers performed by that particular voice and then seguing to the next person who is that voice range. What a performance that would be!

There are things that are useful (if not important) to know about the song.

 

 
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From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-27 11:19 PM 
To: All  (12 of 30) 
 4286.12 in reply to 4286.10 

In the world of entertainment, there are many names and events that need to be recognized. Primarily because of the talent exhibited by the performers. Then because of the obstacles that were intended to prevent these individuals from gaining recognition and compensation for their endeavors. Yet, they succeeded. While attempting to communicate the name of one tap dancing duo, I found their name (The Nicholas Brothers) but was overwhelmed by the others throughout time who have achieved greatness, in spite of the disrespectful jabs from comedians of this time. There was page after page of notables. And there's even a YouTube video dedicated to The Best of Tap. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is designated the best in this video. For more recognitions, just use the the search string "negro tap dancers". Hold onto your seat when you find the results.

If we're just talking about tap as a dance form, there are places to visit such as the International Tap Association in order to learn about the legends of that form. There's also Tap Dance History, which also tells the history of tap and the rigors of trying to get paid for your work. They note:

Tap dancing started with the Negro slaves who would beat out rhythms and dance on river boats. Plantation owners called these dancers "Levee Dancers" thru out the south, these 'levee dancers' would wear shoes as well as not. Levee dancers would find fame with the minstrel shows around 1830 and would hire them to perform to the "Negro ditties" as they were called at the time, however, most of these Negro performers were actually white men who would wear face paint, (known as "Blackface") and acting or perform these dances due to racism. Eventually thru competition amongst the Minstrel show ... the black man had to paint his face, 'if' they could even get hired, which eventually they did.

There is a reference to Savion Glover as a contemporary tap dancer, choreographer, and actor. Unfortunately, the link to the site is broken. However, Time, Inc. shows us their selections of the 10 best tap dance scenes in film.

Gregory Hines soared to great heights with his abilities and then crossed over to ballet with Baryshnikov in White Knights. Let us also remember the struggles of even being accepted as a serious dancer of the ballet for Blacks. And now we have Misty Copeland has stepped into Prima Ballerina for the ABT as well as others who are changing the face of ballet. Misty Copeland isn't the only prima hitting the stage. We need to recognize the others holding that prestigious title. And there are choreographers we should know about. Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp aren't the only ethnic choreographers around.

  • Edited January 27, 2018 11:38 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-28 12:28 AM 
To: All  (13 of 30) 
 4286.13 in reply to 4286.12 

The 1950s and '60s were the dawning of a new American experience. It was the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. It was the beginning of the Muslim religion under Elijah Mohammad. It was a time when the Negro voice began to express its dissatisfaction with the status quo. Many spoke with many voices and expressions. Because the Muslims under the guidance of Mohammad vigorously and blatantly endorsed hate, there were few in the mainstream who would listen.

Out of that organization came the most vocal and the most compelling. It was Malcolm X (Shabazz). In his early days, he too advocated hate and many turned away. Then his pilgrimage to Mecca happened and his voice and message changed. In the end, he and Martin Luther King, were basically advocating for the same thing but in the language of their constituency so that the message could be understood. Because I refrained from listening to his message while he was alive, I've been very uneasy about saying anything positive or negative about the man. It's only been in the last 20 or so years that I've finally allowed myself the education of hearing what the man had to say. Amazingly, what I learned was what he described in the early '60s is what now exists in the 21st Century, more than 50 years later, which leaves me wondering whether we've actually made any progress whatsoever with regard to true equality.

Instead, they turned to figures leading the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or SCLC. From that organization came leadership by Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin, and Fred Shuttlesworth.

Then came Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC for short. But it, too, became radicalized and promoted violence in order to meet its ends. It's demise was inevitable although its founding ideas were admirable. Names we should remember from that organization are Ella Baker, John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael, Hubert "Rap" Brown.

Collectively, the SCLC, SNCC, CORE, NAACP, and the National Urban League became known as the Big Five, each with a special focus for bringing equality to the land.

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-28 4:34 AM 
To: All  (14 of 30) 
 4286.14 in reply to 4286.13 

Yes, the subjects are diverse and many. There's politics both before and after the Civil War.

The first Black U.S. Senator was a free man, Hiram Revels. Reading the accounts of his work seem to point to the fact that history is, indeed, repeating itself in many ways. However, Revels was not the only Black legislature during those years immediately after the Civil War. The other members of Congress (both Senate and House of Representatives) included Joseph Rainey; also Benjamin Turner, Carlos de Large, Josiah Walls, Robert Elliott, and Jefferson Long. This image may be useful in identifying all seven. Their tenure on The Hill was arduous and lasted less than ten years. There was a long hiatus before Black representation on The Hill returned.

The first Black woman Senator was Carol Moseley Braun in 1992. Shirley Chisholm had two distinctions. She was the first Black woman in the House of Representative and served seven terms, from 1969 to 1983. She was also the first Black woman to run for President of the United States. Although mentioned in an earlier post, another person who is among firsts in politics is Yvonne Braithwaite Burke. Her words regarding the challenges women in politics face ring true with regard to women in general when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling.

  • Edited February 6, 2018 4:48 am  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-30 12:34 AM 
To: All  (15 of 30) 
 4286.15 in reply to 4286.14 

As we consider issues such as civil rights and politics, we would be remiss if there were not at least a superficial consideration of the difficulties Negroes faced in becoming licensed professionals, especially in the area of law, lawyers, and judges. It was not uncommon for Blacks to be denied admission into American Bar Association (ABA) accredited schools. A natural transgression of that is the fact that they were also denied admission into the ABA as recognized and licensed professionals. Thus, the National Bar Association was formed and still exists. It was originally known as the National Negro Bar Association.

In spite of so many struggles for acceptance, women still had an even longer climb. Thus, Lutie Lytle is a name worth remembering because she was the first Negro woman to participate in a national bar association. Another woman who deserves recognition is Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander who is noted as having been "the first Black woman to earn a doctorate degree at the University of Pennsylvania - and the first nationwide to earn a doctorate in economics. She was the first black woman to graduate from Penn's Law School, and then the first admitted to legal practice in Pennsylvania."

Sweatt v. Painter gave us the first glimmer of desegregation of schools. Mr. Sweatt applied for admission to the white University of Texas law school. In order to avoid admitting him, the school "hastily" erected a black law school on its campus. But the Supreme Court ruled that in light of the "blatant inequities", separate was not the same as equal.

Law school is a very competitive environment. The practice is to whittle down the first year admission class until there is only a certain percentage remaining who graduate. The basis for removal is usually couched in terms of poor academic performance. However, students of color and female students seem to have more than the usual difficulty in holding onto their seat until graduation. Ill health is cited as the reason why Mr. Sweatt dropped out of the University of Texas law school before the end of his second year. He pursued an alternative career with the Urban League after earning a master's degree in social work.

Through all of the struggles to be accepted, Thurgood Marshall rose in the ranks to become the first Black United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. He was succeeded by a very stormy and controversial confirmation hearing to seat Associate Justice Clarence Thomas as the second Black Justice on the Supreme Court. Interestingly, aside from their racial identification, the two are diametrically different in philosophies and style.

  • Edited January 30, 2018 1:03 am  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-30 2:04 AM 
To: All  (16 of 30) 
 4286.16 in reply to 4286.15 

There are notables in the world of literature who should be acknowledged here. Unfortunately, the names and accomplishments will be paltry compared with the number who deserve recognition. But let me start with some obvious names.

Langston Hughes, poet, journalist, novelist, social activist, innovator of the jazzy poetry and a leader in the Harlem Renaissance.

A useful page to explore at this time is Celebrating Black History Month created by the Poetry Foundation. There it's possible to find works of many literary notables.

Toni Morrison caused a huge stir in the literary landscape, quick on the heels of Maya Angelou. As Angelou's search results display, her literary contemporaries appear with her. Notables such as Alice Walker, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston.

You may want to visit Biography.com's Black History page to get a sense of the "not knee jerk" names that deserve to be recognized - and even they offer a very short list. However, they make available some interesting video clips worth exploring.

In order to find more notables, I visited the Pulitzer website. The story Shirley Scott wrote for her paper was what I reached, "What it's like to be black." It holds universal truths. They don't break down their awards according to the ethnicity of the writer. They just list the year in which their categories of writing were acknowledged. As we strive for equality, perhaps that's a very good thing.

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-30 2:38 AM 
To: All  (17 of 30) 
 4286.17 in reply to 4286.16 

What are CC&Rs? If you're considering moving into a neighborhood to rent or own or just do business, it's critical that you become familiar with what rules that community has established in regard to the location.

What are sundown laws? Loewen's page has explanations and examples that are as recent as 2015. These types of cities still exist even though the Civil Rights Act was intended to put an end to the practice.

It became useful to have a copy of the The Negro Motorist's Green Book in order to know where the safe places were for travel, lodging, and food.

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconJan-31 2:36 PM 
To: All  (18 of 30) 
 4286.18 in reply to 4286.17 

Back to the world of entertainment and particularly to music training, here's some research created and posted in a parallel forum on 

Jan-8 9:12 PM
  87.1 
 

Does anyone know about the Los Angeles All City Marching Band?

It was started by Donald Dustin. It's grown over time in size and recognition. One of the administrators is a former student of Dustin, Reggie Andrews. Others who have climbed the ladder of their own success and who were under the instruction of Dustin during those formative years were the two brothers who are part of The Waters (Luther and Oren).

Dustin urged adherence to formal orchestral formation and organized, healthy competition to rise above merely playing an instrument for class. He urged seeking advancement both in class and in inter-district music competition.

In class, he established a system of challenging the musician in the next higher seat of their section. Whoever won the competition, took the seat. There was no limit to the challenges that could be made. And this system eliminated the sense of earning the chair/seat through accession. (Learning about competition; learning to yearn for excellence; learning about earning your place in the sun; learning about healthy competition; learning not to settle.)

There have been various articles that take not of the inroads attributable to this band and how it came into being. There's even been a benefit concert to their credit.

There was discipline and an insistence on adherence to standards in order to excel. That is what each competition class ensemble did and each member was recognized for their excellence. Each ensemble brought home anywhere from first, second, or third place in their area of instrument in each round of at least four other ensembles. Each ensemble helped the school to place in the same levels for the overall competition in that area of musical instrument. And it wasn't uncommon for Gompers to take home the trophy for best musicians.

Yes, there was pride in the accomplishment. But there was still much more important things to do such as more practice on increasingly difficult works, getting a thorough education and excellent grades in academics and sports, discovering Life, maturing, attending to domestic responsibilities, and just having fun.

There was another subtle lesson being taught in Donald Dustin's classes. It was the essentials of becoming qualified through healthy competition. Cutthroat and unethical tactics simply don't work when you're trying to produce the best music possible. Dustin took all these principles to the next level when he created the All City Marching Band, one comprised primarily of Black and Hispanic musicians and marchers.

As we consider the accomplishments of the band, let us also consider where they are marching and one in particular with regard to the who involved in it. The Tournament of Roses Parade is the venue. For the first time in its history, it has elected Gerald Freeny, a Black man from the San Gabriel Valley area, as its president.

  • Edited February 13, 2018 6:14 pm  by  Entrances
 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconFeb-1 11:49 AM 
To: All  (19 of 30) 
 4286.19 in reply to 4286.7 

Another concept that should be included in this discussion is that of "usurpation" or to "usurp" something, be it a physical item, a concept, governance over something, or credit for the work. This is something that is an extension of the Negro experience, one of the obstacles that needs to be overcome for each individual no matter what the year, decade, or century. It is a concept equally applied to women's climb to be more present in managerial and executive positions as well as presence on Boards of Directors.

An interesting word cloud is formed when we look at the word "usurp" on Thesaurus.com .

Synonyms for usurp

verb take over
...[Message truncated]

 

 
From: Entrances DelphiPlus Member IconFeb-1 1:54 PM 
To: All  (20 of 30) 
 4286.20 in reply to 4286.7 

Miscegenation or interracial marriage are concepts we don't consider these days because the social norm has become one of freedom of choice and freedom of legal association. However, there was a time (starting in 1664) when laws existed the forbade marriage between white women and black men. It then became no interracial marriage. But what of the offspring? 

Word clouds relating to miscegenation bring up interesting synonyms as we see from the Power Thesaurus link above and from the one from Thesaurus.com. Some are considerate and some are not. Consider:

Synonyms for miscegenation

noun composite, mixture
...[Message truncated]

 

 
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