Popular music and race

In a recent post I linked to Steve Sailer’s piece about the race card being played at the Grammy awards. The question was raised whether Whites should apologies for winning awards, with the implicit assumption being that the awards are ‘stolen’ from blacks, who are of course the rightful winners, or would be in a ‘colorblind’ society.

I’ve often pondered how it is that our popular music (and popular culture in general) is so dominated by blacks. Most people — even those who are somewhat racially aware — would defer to blacks by saying that blacks are just more talented at music, as they are supposedly in athletics. But the black ascendancy has black people accusing Whites of “cultural appropriation” when they emulate, even unconsciously, black styles.

Could we not say rightly that blacks have a kind of cultural hegemony in our society, in all Western societies, given their disproportionate numbers in entertainment and their pervasive influence on White performers and composers of music?

This is not a new thing. I came across an article in an old (dated 1927) article in an Argentine magazine, Cine-Mundial. The article was titled ‘Melanomania‘, a term that the writer, R. De Zayas Enriquez, apparently coined himself to describe the craze among White people for black entertainment. Maybe we should use that word; the ‘-mania’ suffix is apt, and it has become a more pronounced trend since the time that the article was written.

As we are in black history month, wherein many claims are made about blacks having invented just about everything, we are bound to hear that blacks invented, among other things, rock ‘n roll, a claim which is usually conceded by most Whites. Yet it could just as convincingly be argued that rock ‘n roll derives more from country music in the form of old-time string-band music, via what was called ‘rockabilly.’ Chuck Berry’s music shows more influence from White country/rockabilly than vice-versa. Does it matter who invented it? Rock ‘n roll is something I grew up with, as did most of us today, and I enjoy a lot of it, but it isn’t exactly our crowning cultural achievement. Still, the truth matters, and it does serve the cultural Marxist, anti-White agenda to claim that blacks are the source of all our popular musical genres, as does the writer of this following excerpt. The writer is Isaac Goldberg (are triple parentheses even necessary there?) in a book called Tin Pan Alley, from 1930. [NB: the language in the following is the author’s;  everyone was politically incorrect in 1930].

“Before the various types of jazz was the modern coon song; before the coon song was the minstrel show; before the minstrel show was the plantation melody and the spiritual. It is safe to say that without the Negro we should have had no Tin Pan Alley; or, if this sounds like exaggeration, certainly Tin Pan alley would have been a far less picturesque Melody Land than it is to-day.

Why has the coon song become so representative of our popular music? Why is it impossible to think of our street songs for long without encountering the influence — whether pseudo or real — of the black? Why, whether in the early days of the southland, or in the contemporary life of Gotham, is the rhythm, the lingo, the accent of the Negro so persistent?

The Negro is the symbol of our uninhibited expression, of our uninhibited action. He is our catharsis. He is the disguise behind which we may, for a releasing moment, rejoin that part of ourselves which we have sacrificed to civilization. He helps us to a double deliverance. What we dare not say, often we freely sing. Music, too, is an absolution. And what we would not dare to sing in our own plain speech we freely sing in the Negro dialect, or in terms of the black. The popular son, like an unseen Cyrano, provides love phrases for that speechless Christian, the Public. And the Negro, a black Cyrano, adds lust to passion.

Can this be one of the reasons why the American Anglo-Saxon has held aloof from the exploitation and particularly the creation of songs in the musical vernacular? Can it be only a coincidence that the three races who have contributed most to our popular song — the Negro, the Irish and the Jew — should be the familiar example of oppressed nationalities, credited with a fine intensity of inner life and with passions less bridled than those of the more conventional — not necessarily the more frigid — American Anglo-Saxon?”

We can see the politics showing through the writer’s statements involving ‘oppressed’ races, and his biases towards Anglo-Saxons.

I will explore this further in future posts, because it seems that the cultural revolution has been more insidious and more important than the gradualist political revolution.