I found a very interesting article that was written a couple of years ago:
This piece raises a great question.
One in which I feel we’ve made very little headway towards negotiating as a collective.
If we all have the same basic biological make-up, why then does racism divide us so?
How did this happen?
Who created it?
Of what benefit does it serve?
Will we ever rise above this when in essence we are all brothers and sisters?
I believe fear lies at the belly of it all.
I, too, suffer with this as evidenced by the piece I wrote the other day about Black music.
We all have an instinctual will to survive, not only physically, but culturally, spiritually, emotionally, etc . . . .
I fear one day that music (that is suppose to be), will cease to be funky, an aesthetic that I strongly associate with my Blackness.
That “Soul” music, if you will, will cease to be relevant.
“Blues” will be a thing of the past and “Swing” will no longer matter.
I fear one day that “Cool” will become cold.
I see us headed there and it’s very disconcerting to say the least.
The irony is that the racial divide amongst peoples is the very thing that created Soul, Swing, Blues, and Funk.
I believe it’s a beautiful story in the face of some very ugly things about human nature.
Some Whites may ask, “so, is this saying I’m a mutant?”.
I don’t believe this to be a racially exclusive thing.
I’m no scientist, but I’d be willing to put my head on a chopping block to guarantee I, too, am a mutant and I’m Black.
How do we know what we are just from the color on the outside?
Swing itself is a mutation from African rhythms, one in which I love and am very proud to be part of.
If I could choose to be 100% genetically pure and not funky, I would remain just as I am.
Here’s the rub: Swing is born of struggle.
The less of a struggle, perhaps the less the need for an artistic representation.
The story becomes obsolete.
That said, this isn’t just about Swing and Black music, it’s about being human.
Remember the edict: you are what you eat?
Well, we spend so much time in front of the computer that we’re becoming soulless.
That’s a scary mutation if I’ve ever seen one!
As a romanticist, I’m a lover of things tactile.
I love touch, skin, pressing buttons, turning pages, etc….
Technology, in an effort to make things more expedient and use less space, is robbing us of the pleasures of being human.
It’s not a reality I am willing to accept and I believe it’s our job to impart that to the ones who aren’t hip.
We’re soon to create a generation of peoples who know not what it’s like to feel anything.
I love what technology has to offer us, but I think a healthy marriage of analog and digital creates a more dynamic experience overall.
I myself must admit to spending time on facebook and blogging, but my efforts are merely trying to bring soul into an instrinsically soulless medium.
What’s happening here in New Orleans (my hometown) is a microcosm of what is happening in the world at large.
There is a strong contingency to uphold the status-quo.
Some people believe that by making the city progressive and forward thinking it will lose it’s character.
I vehemently disagree.
The birth of “the music commonly referred to as Jazz” is a result of forward motion.
Swing itself is forward motion.
The problem with society is that once we get something we feel is better, we throw out all the old shit which is a mistake.
I believe you cut out the bullshit and keep what’s good.
Now that’s positive genetic mutation!
– Nicholas Payton