". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, November 11, 2016

Amsterdam News Reviews Symphony Space Slave Coast Live Performance

Because the video advertisement on the page is so annoying, even though it's from CNN and shows thousands of people protesting the results of the election, I pulled the part of about Symphony Space and Slave Coast from the longer article and c&p ed it here.  The article's  author is the Amsterdam News's editor. Amsterdam News is the longest surviving original African American newspaper in New York City. It is the only Symphony Space performance review, of course, beyond the blog pieces written by white jazz music writers. 

The Amsterdam News Building at 2340 Frederick Douglass in New York has been adorned with some funky new murals as part of the #NotaCrime campaign 

The text came from Ned and Constance Sublette’s book, “The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry” (Lawrence Hill Books). The passages were read by the authors; by vocalist Lezlie Harrison; by musician, vocalist Nona Hendrix; by actor, writer Carl Hancock Rux; by actress Kandia Crazy Horse; and by filmmaker Jonathan Demme. 
The music was composed by the saxophonist Donald Harrison and performed by his versatile quartet of guitarist/banjoist Detroit Brooks, pianist Zacci Curtis and drummer Darryl Staves. 
After reading “The American Slave Coast,” Harrison was inspired to write a composition with an intriguing edge anchored in the blues, and at times his New Orleans roots leaped out. 
For two hours the sold-out audience sat in scary silence as the music consoled them in the midst of being tortured by slavery’s agonizing truths. 
Ned stated, “I knew from the beginning this project needed to be performable.”
“The American Slave Coast” is the 2016 winner of the American Book Awards. Slavery, one of the most horrific crimes on the face of the Earth, is a crucial fabric of America. It is this contemplated abomination that has kept this country racially divided over the past 400 years. 
Last weekend the slavery empire built on terrorism and the torture of Black people, politics and economics traveled through time to sprout the heart-wrenching truth through the words of “The American Slave Coast: Live,”
at Manhattan’s Symphony Space. 
Today, one political candidate is using race as a talking point. But ssshhh! He isn’t using that word. He prefers the phrase “let’s make America great again.” Some folks ask, “Why don’t Black people just get over it? After all, slave masters weren’t really that bad.” 
Perhaps the slave masters they are referring to were former presidents Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and James K. Polk. Regardless of their presidency, these men were white supremacists who profited from and promoted the selling of African-Americans from birth to adulthood. 
“The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry” is one of the most concise, graphic, historically researched books ever written on the subject. This book should be required reading for Americans, particularly those running for any political office.
By now there are 63 64 reviews of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave Breeding Industry up on amazilla.  With very few exceptions all the reviews are four and five stars.  I think, though I haven't looked myself, that the majority of the reviews are 5 stars.

No comments: