Monday, January 24, 2005
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Monday, January 03, 2005
....not many people I know listen to Diana Krall... of course I’m a black teenager from South West Philly, so -- assuming that the people I know reside in at least semi-close proximity to my geographic location-- I guess it's not surprising. Sad but understandable... maby. I mean Hip-Hop... the genre of music that is widely believed to represent "the voice" of us (using "us" not solely for the fact that I feel I should be included but also because "us" is much easier to type than African-Americans and has less negative connotations than "blacks") is ironic.
Something that is supposedly used as a vessel through which we are allowed to show who we truly are is taken as just that and is therefore viewed as the proof that serves as yet another thing to fuel the fire of stereotypes and prejudices . For every one of us whom I have known to have done the things that these artists talk about in their music, there are at least ten others who haven’t. This is understood by me because I am part of the "us", but what these artist have to realize is, by making public the ideas that they bring forth in a genre of music that is seen to be as culturally representative as Hip-Hop, they are intrinsicly justifying the social and political attitudes that have plagued us for hundreds of years.
Why should respect be given to a group of people who do not respect themselves enough to entertain their communities with something other then self defeating, socially masochistic ideas of themselves? We complain about not being able to gain equal footing in society, and yet we support those of us who tell musical stories of their contentment with their constant struggle, and how these individuals feel most at home in life and death situations. Although these artists have different goals in life, we must realize that they are us. They are one of the most noticeable representations of our cultural grapevine so to speak.
Understanding this, we should take a little of our respective sweetnessess (it may not be in my dictionary but it fits) including the high expectations, the strong moral foundations, and the deep cultural identities that make us what we truly are as African-Americans, and push them through this grapevine instead of letting the negative, undesirable, bitterness that these huge Hip-Hop artists (the large grapes that everyone goes for first) continue to be a sour representation of us. In doing this, the artist will have no choice but to adopt these attributes for themselves and thereby become a positive force in our still continuing effort to become socially and culturally integrated.
All of this from Diana Krall... maby I should go into politics...