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Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit and other soundies

Dorothy Dandridge - A Zoot Suit
Dorothy Dandridge - Cow Cow Boogie
Dorothy Dandridge, the Nicholas Brothers & Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo
Hoagy Carmichael - Lazybones
A very young and very beautiful Dorothy Dandridge, exploding with talent and charisma... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 26, 2012 - 12 comments

''Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you'': Vachel Lindsay reads The Congo

Vachel Lindsay reads The Congo.
Jim Dickinson reads The Congo.
Laura Fox reads The Congo.
Vachel Lindsay as Performer
Lindsay and Racism
See also Race Criticism of "The Congo"
A podcast: Noncanonical Congo: A Discussion of Vachel Lindsay's "The Congo." [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 10, 2010 - 28 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939), which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 6, 2009 - 50 comments

The Two Americas

Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go. Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes... "Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable.. Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin." They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed.

The Two Americas. See also A Nation's Castaways, 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked' & White Man's Burden
posted by y2karl on Sep 4, 2005 - 69 comments

The Senate Apologizes For Its Historical Inaction In Regards To Lynching

About Lynching
The Negro Holocaust: Lynching and Race Riots in the United States,1880-1950
Lynching in America: Carnival of Death
The Press and Lynchings of African Americans
U.S. Senate apologizes for shame of lynchings
On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- ...documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960. No lawmaker opposed the measure, but 20 of the 100 senators had not signed a statement of support of it shortly before a vote was taken on a nearly empty Senate floor.
posted by y2karl on Jun 13, 2005 - 135 comments

No Race-Neutral Racism: Targeting African-Americans Is as Racist as it Looks

Racially-Based Suppression of the African-American Vote: The Role It May Play in the Upcoming Presidential Election What exactly is racially-based vote suppression? Simply defined, it is the targeting of potential voters, based on their race, in an attempt to suppress the exercise of their right to vote for the candidate of their choice.
posted by y2karl on Oct 30, 2004 - 34 comments

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