MUSIC AND THE BLACK EXPERIENCE: THE BLACK EXPERIENCE AND MUSIC
Peace be unto you. What came first “The Black Experience” or Music? Was there music in the "Garden of Eden?” Was there music as the Creation of man brought life to the world?
So on this day I thought of these things regarding the historical development of humankind and the Creation. I also thought of the Great Masters that reveal so much of our history in music. I am not a musician although if not for certain economic circumstances and my called destiny I may have become a professional musician. However I am a writer with a responsibility to record the clear and distinct essence of the Black Experience as I seek to critique the world landscape.
Many great musicians, song writers and singers are forever memorialized in their recorded music. However as we explore the Black Experience many are left for naught regarding their contributions to the history of our people. Therefore as we hear, listen, see and feel our music we look back in time to another mystery of our past.
There was a rushing wind as the Black man and woman of “The Land of the Blacks” (Africa) ran through the great forest. Some were captured in war and sold without conscience to the people that came in the big boats curious and seeking above all things profits in human flesh.
The Chains eventually made various sounds many still are heard today
From the west coast of the Black Land
the tale of the east coast is yet a different
story, came big boats not as pleasure
boats but, boats that would render a hell
on earth and the greatest assault on humanity
in the history of humankind.
Did such great tragedy logically inspire
such great creativity among the people
taken, kidnapped and stolen from the
Motherland? The drum had been the
bottom and from antiquity held the back
beat. They also carried the flute, reed,
Instruments and the strings that made for the
basic ways in which they produced sound
from things held in the hand and the mouth.
They also came singing, many also danced
not from joy but of sorrow as the death march
spelled a cooling board (“Son House”) for many.
Meanwhile before the “Crossroads” of “Robert Johnson”
and “Elmore James” were realized nor was the “Steal Away”
known, the march brought pain and anguish and no one
shouted out with joy at this social nor would they ever
see a wedding dance or prom. However the Mississippi
Delta Masters would soon sing of being a “Man.” “Mississippi
Muddy Waters, McKinley Morganfield.”
The boys fell as it took a Man to survive. You had to have
courage and God rendered us strength. God also “broke the day”
“Lightnin Hopkins.” The instruments were bent, broken and often
left behind. They were left with only a song on their hearts and minds
and thoughts of the rhythms they had been born with. But the fusion
began to take place that would produce the Spirituals sung in the cotton
and cane fields.
Wherever they went, were brought as they could run but it was
hard to hide as you could always see Black among the cotton rows.
So in Cuba, the West and French Indies and all through Latin
America, say so Brazil wherever the Black man touched, his music, his,
seed was felt. The drum went and had its impact on the culture and
the people. So also went “Santana” and “Jingo, El Corazon manda
La puerta del sol and Acapulco Sunrise.”
However the record we know shows that no impact was greater
than the Black American Experience in North America. Because
here is where the Spirituals (“Mahalia” would soon sing of many things
of the past) were born that gave way to the “Blues,” the “Gospels,” “Jazz” and
“Rhythm and Blues” and what about “Soul.” But Brethren what is “Hip-Hop?”
Spoken Word came from Africa and the, African griots the Black story-tellers
as many things were said and not written. I remember the “Last Poets.”
We also forever pay everlasting tribute to “Gil-Scott Heron.”
We now write these things as documentation is more everlasting.
So will “Hip-Hop” also leave its mark? Will “2- Pac” be called the “Hip-Hop”
Liberator? Is there anything positive about a creative talent and genius that
is exploited by those outside your culture although they invade the Black
Experience? Have they invaded the minds of many of our youth gone mad?
“Getting Paid” is not all this life is about. But many know nothing are care
to know nothing about God and Christ. There is no “Rap Gospel.”
Meanwhile the Great Masters who are to tell of them? The new Black
man and woman forget about the Spirituals and as they embraced what
some called a “Contemporary Gospel” but really a commercial music for those
that don’t have soul. They also denounce the “Blues” as the music of Po
Blacks crying about a no good woman and being Black and Po with no
money no woman and no job. They also forget about the raison d’ être the creative
genius of Black artists that have been inspired by a higher power to record,
Our history in song and in music. “Howl on Wolf,” “John Lee Hooker” I hear you
and “Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Lead Belly, Bessie Ms. Smith, R.L.
Burnside, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Charley Patton, Mississippi Sheiks,
Geechie Wiley and Elvie Thomas, Tommy Johnson, Blind Joe (Willie) Reynolds,
Willie Brown, Louise Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White, Big Joe
Williams, Etta James, Jimmy Reed, Skip James, Albert King, Ko Ko Taylor,
Luther Allison.” Hear, feel and see me O people as I remind you that the low downiest,
“Blues,” carries with it vital lessons in Black history while it depicts the real un-cut
un-censored Black Experience. “B. B. King, Bobby Bland, Big Bill Broonzy, Big Joe Turner,
Buddy Guy and Sonny Boy Williamson.” Meanwhile many writers, historians and the sold
out academic community wallowing in mis-education refutes one of the greatest sources
of information that relate to the Black Experience regarding our history, politics,
and economic experiences.
What has been the social and over-all impact of the Black Experience and music
on the culture of North America and throughout the Diaspora? Thus the confused
mis-guided intellectual community has failed again because the Black middle –class has
failed to understand and appreciate the Blues. I heard nothing in many history books nor
was the lecture at a mis-guided school dipped in the philosophy of “Keeping it Real.”
Thus I sat by the river bank there I heard the wind move and whistle in the big mouth of the
blue clear sky.
I then could see, feel and hear my ancestors singing the “Blues” of joy, pain, sorrow
and most of hope for in them there I found the inspiration from God. Catch this
train “Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Lady Day Ms. Billie Holiday and Mr.
Peace and Golden Paradise, Carl A. Patton a willing slave and servant of Almighty God writing for the FreedomJournal 19 November 2008 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
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