In Defense of Transgressive Art: The Trial and Tribulation of Negro Spirituals
Please refer to: http://still-single.tumblr.com/post/44858497340/negro-spirituals-black-garden-b-w-ancient-trees
In this new review for the “Still Single” blog, writer Doug Mosurock makes a few valid points: “We live in a world with standards and reason, compassion and intellect, but above all, different people of all races, creeds, genders, faith, and national origin.” This is the truth, and something that I’m sure no one will call into question. Not even the “three white guys” mentioned within, that have come under fire for naming their rock group “Negro Spirituals”.
Doug goes on to mention that Negro Spirituals is a side project of Tenement, which is plainly untrue, and an honest mistake. Negro Spirituals shares no members with Tenement, however I do know each of them and they’re all compassionate, non–bigoted, and well read young men, who as traveling musicians spend plenty of time outside of the “bubble” they grew up in. Next, Doug finds it within his “sociocultural responsibility” to reduce the entire state of Wisconsin to “Fast food restaurants both staffed and patronized by white people”. Nevermind the African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and American Indian populations that have existed within the state for as much as centuries; producing important minority group civil rights activists such as Vel Phillips and Lloyd Barbee, and sustaining many communities with rich cultural heritage. Apparently these were out of sight from Doug’s booster-seat view, which I can only assume was from behind a pane of glass on an interstate. BUT HEY MAN, he’s “Been to Wisconsin”…
Setting his ignorant observations aside, you can find from a peek at the 2010 US Census that Doug’s very own home state, New York, shares a common trend with the home state of the three shadowy figures dubbed “Negro Spirituals”: A white majority population. Considering this, and the fact that only four out of fifty states currently have a non-white majority population, Doug’s personal condescension toward Wisconsin and its cultural makeup seems irrelevant. What’s more, each states’ respective largest cities have nearly the same percentage of white citizens – New York City, where Doug Masurock appears to live and operate his music criticism, with 44%. Milwaukee, where at least one out of three of the Negro Spirituals lived, worked, and grew up, with 44.8%. Their home town, which was mentioned in the same breath certainly isn’t a “magical small-town rainbow coallition”, but it does boast a sizeable Hmong population among other ethnic groups, and I assure you that it serves as no more than a postal address and an inexpensive place to exist between creating and traveling. Much of their “real life” is spent outside of the “bubble” that Doug alludes to. Might I also mention that Wisconsin is no stranger to its share of racial conflict, as one is reminded of this whenever walking alone at night in Milwaukee; a city which folks like Reverend Jesse Jackson have called “The Most Segregated City in America”. And a few short miles south bound in New Berlin, Wisconsin, one can find the American Nazi Party’s headquarters, which is now coined “New Order” and acts as a religion rather than a political party; worshiping Adolf Hitler as its supreme being. As children that grew up on rural and suburban soil, where the average adult may never travel farther than the county line in their entire lives, prejudices and presumptions about anyone that looked different in any way ran rampant in our lives from a young age, forcing all of us to either absorb or ignore these ideas, and eventually dismiss them as cruel slander.
And here’s where the lines get blurry. In the wake of criticism, Negro Spirituals have remained silent, leaving the name’s meaning up for interpretation. Since the February First release of this debut single, the name on the cover has drawn confusion, curiosity, amusement, amazement, and apathy. But never, until now, anger. So why does Doug Mosurock seem so deeply offended by “Negro Spirituals”? He does, after all, use the tongue-in-cheek DJ Moniker, “Cockfight” in public appearance – an obvious reference to a blood sport which exploits & kills many animals each year, and serves as a shameful taboo here in America. The employees at the animal hospital where I spend most of my time when I’m home from the road wouldn’t find much humor in the name. Neither would the owners of abused pets resulting from its sister-sport, “Dog Fighting”. Though Doug states that “Actually it was named after the sound of two dicks slapping together”, its double meaning is blatant and leaves me wondering whether he’s ever had to nurse or console an animal that has suffered in vain at the hands of a human before. Surely, someone who has never dealt with such a situation before would be acting in bad taste when making a dick and fart joke out of it, am I right Doug? That sounds transgressive to me.
I can’t speak for the band itself while discussing the meaning behind the name “Negro Spirituals”, but I can say that I believe it to be an effective catalyst for thought and emotion regarding personal insecurities brought about by racial issues in America. In its truest form, it’s a work of art that evokes emotion and in turn through intelligent conversation, co-understanding. Doug’s reaction to this artwork is proof that sometimes laying out the evidence at hand with no preface or explanation can be the simplest and most sure-fire way to make people think. This is something that anyone should be able to do, considering they have good intentions. Be it “three white guys” or three guys of any other shape or color. Humans commenting on human behavior through abstract art. Sounds simple enough to me. Maybe not for the music critic, who crafts much of his commentary out of predictable insults.
The art in question seems a subtle mockery of an openly racist society, be it in a very vague and non-descript way, and the text itself was pulled directly from the cover of a civil rights era “Negro Spirituals” LP similar to others by the likes of The Goldenaires Choir. These LP’s often featured an all-white choir singing in stale, flaccid form, Negro Spirituals, which by definition are “Religious folk songs of African American origin”, and hold no derogatory meaning, regardless of what the words are associated with apart from one another. Considering the music held within the grooves of “Black Garden b/w Ancient Trees” is little more than a drunken sabotage of pop songs through clipping, feedback, noise and apathy, “Negro Spirituals” may have been mocking The Goldenaires’ style in their own distinct way. Not so much like Al Jolson or Amos & Andy, but more like the cover of Ike and Tina’s 1968 LP, “Outta Season”. Look it up, and you’ll know what I mean.
Doug Mosurock seems to think that any art deemed “transgressive” is instantly overshadowed by its own controversy. If that’s the case, where does that leave artists like Raymond Pettibon, John Waters, Robert Crumb, or Pier Paolo Pasolini? Hopefully not in the burn pile. Any art worth thinking about should be left to free interpretation, and this record is no exception. If anything, it’s a testament to the idea.
Create what you feel, Expect a consequence to your actions, Burn the careless critics.
– Amos Pitsch, March 2013
An advocacy group has released images which claim to show an NYPD officer putting a seven-months pregnant woman into a chokehold for illegally grilling on the sidewalk in front of her apartment.
NYPD officers have been banned from using the chokehold since 1993, but an officer can be seen in the pictures wrapping his arm around 27-year-old Rosan Miller’s neck in the Saturday incident.
Her young daughter is also in the pictures, watching the arrest unfold.
girl if u don’t get outta my inbox with this ‘we are the world! let’s all hold hands and pretend certain skin tones aren’t considered more desirable than others!’ NOW BACK TO WHAT I WAS SAYING
HOW ABOUT WE STICK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND MA!!!!
In regard to non formal education…
The movement was described by its founders as “any organized, systematic, educational activity carried on outside the framework of the formal system to provide selected types of learning to particular subgroups in the population, adults as well as children” (Coombs & Ahmed, 1974, p. 8). According to Tight (1996), nonformal education is about “acknowledging the importance of education, learning and training which takes place outside recognized educational institutions” (p. 68). Fordham (1993) suggests that in the 1970s, four characteristics were distinctive of nonformal education: (a) Relevance to the needs of disadvantaged groups, (b) concern with specific categories of person, (c) a focus on clearly defined purposes, and (d) flexibility in organization and methods.
Simply put, our needs are different from that of the “dominant” society so our education and the way it is approached should reflect that.
Often times the gifts & intelligence that are squandered in the traditional/formal school is often applied in less smiled upon ways but that should not be the case.
Similarly, Collum (2001) used semi-structured interviews with current and former gang members to investigate nonformal education as it occurs among teenagers and adults in street gangs, The findings indicate that street gangs possess educational systems that incorporate the acquisition of skills and knowledge through nonformal techniques that are often more rigorous than the curriculum of formal schooling. The implications suggest new approaches to developing curriculum and instruction for nontraditional urban youth groups and social networks like street gangs and out-of-school youth.
Don’t let these negropeans influence you with Du Boise’s INITIAL logic of the talented 10th or modern day Respectability politics. Shabazz(brother Malcolm) & King were both killed in suits, and King was bloodied in one too. So clearly pulling up our pants or dressing like them in any form won’t change shit. If you really think we can change without the hood you gone…
Holloway’s (1994) dissertation on the educational attitudes of gang members explores a number of pertinent themes in nonformal education, including the acquisition of education through peer groups and voluntary neighborhood associations. Peer groups, including gangs, not only influence youth in their attitudes towards education, but provide a context for youth to develop a sense of self-identity, belonging, and responsibility, all of which are integral to intellectual and academic development (Blakemore & Blakemore, 1998; Oyserman, Bybee, & Terry, 2003; Spencer, Cunningham, & Swanson, 1995; Taylor, Lerner, von Eye, Bobek, Balsano, Dowling, & Anderson, 2003; 2004). Also, adolescent group identity can become distinctive, salient, and likely to have motivational and behavioral consequences especially within intergroup contexts where membership is a privilege (Branch & Boothe, 2002; Oyserman & Harrison, 1999).
From @supremeunderstanding Pedagogy of the five percent
#blackness #thugs #warriors #soldiers #hood #hoodshit #dontspeakdown
McDonald’s worker arrested after telling company president she can’t afford shoes.
"A woman who has been employed by the McDonald’s Corporation for over 10 years says she was arrested last week after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children.
Nancy Salgado, 26, told The Real News that she felt like she had to speak out during McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton’s speech at the Union League Club of Chicago on Friday for the sake of her children.
“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted as Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”
“I’ve been there for forty years,” Stratton replied from the podium.
“The thing is that I need a raise. But you’re not helping your employees. How is this possible?” Salgado asked.
At that point, someone approached Salgado and informed her that she was going to be arrested.
She later recalled the encounter to The Real News’ Jessica Desvarieux.
“The strength was very powerful, like, just remembering the face of my kids, like I say, you know, just simple things like I can’t provide a pair of shoes like everybody else does, sometimes every month, or anything like that,” she said. “And he needs to know we are what all the employees at McDonald’s are going through. We’re struggling day to day to provide our needs in our houses, things for our kids. And it’s just–it gets harder and harder with just the poverty wage they have us living in.”
“They just told me, you know, well, you’re being under arrest because you just interrupted, you trespassed the property. You’re just going to go to jail,” Salgado added. “And what I remember just telling them, ‘well, like, so, because I have to speak out my mind and I had to tell the president the poverty wage I’m living in, that’s just against the law?’ You know, just be able to speak up your mind and say, you know what, I can’t survive with $8.25? It’s just — it’s ridiculous that I’m going to get arrested. You know.”
Salgado, who is still working at McDonald’s, said she had her hours cut following the arrest and feared further retaliation.
“The CEOs make millions and billions a year and why can’t they provide enough for their employees?” she wondered.”
I think that this is beyond awful for many reasons. People can’t afford to live off of the wages that they are given currently, and can’t even speak out against it. I know tumblr is great for spreading important news like this, so please help me get the word out to support this woman.
look at the damn sign right behind her head… How do you get a arrested for speaking your mind at a damn McDonald’s meeting ? They let her in for the employees to be there didn’t they? Ummm why arent the lawyers knocking down her door because im sure there must be a suit here of some kind. I understand how this woman feels 100% believe me… You make a complaint to the man who should be aware of how his employees feel and then when you get back to work they cut your hours even more wtf is the world coming too.
(Rebloggable version of this reply, per request.)
Well, here’s the deal, anon. The Salvation Army is an evangelical Christian group, and they impose those beliefs on the people that they employ and the communities they serve. Here are a few examples:
They are so opposed to LGBT rights that they have lobbied multiple times for exemptions from Federal and Local anti-discrimination laws, and threatened to withdraw their services.
They refused to provide shelter to a homeless gay couple, unless they broke up and renounced their homosexuality.
They refused to provide a transgender woman with shelter that was congruent with her gender presentation, instead insisting she house with men. She chose instead to sleep on the sidewalk and died from the cold.
Speaking of gender, there was also this charming incident where one of their hostels refused to open the door for a 17-year-old victim who had just been brutally raped (or even call the police for her) because that particular hostel had a strict “men only” policy.
Children who can’t prove their immigration status are turned away.
The organization also disposes of any Harry Potter or Twilight related donations (rather than giving them to other charities), because they claim the toys are “incompatible with the charity’s Christian beliefs”.
During the Bush Administration (thanks to ‘faith-based initiatives’) they fired about 20 long-time employees (Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Gay), simply for refusing to sign the organization’s statement of Christian belief.
So, that—in a nutshell—is what’s wrong with it.
i will never stop spreading the word about how fucking shady the salvation army is
think twice before you donate to the bell-ringers in your local mall this holiday season … i am planning on starting a dialogue with the ones that are set to station themselves outside the store i work in
also one time i volunteered with the salvation army around christmas time being an “elf” and helping parents pick out free donated toys for their kids
which was all well and good until they ESCORTED TWO MEN OUT OF THE BUILDING BECAUSE THEY “LOOKED GAY”
this was a first-hand eyewitness account and i should have left then and there, but seeing as i needed to take the bus back to school…
And this is why I starting to donate to other charities around Christmas.
No more red buckets for me.
and theres also how in Australia they have teared apart native aboriginal communities to “christianize” them and make them part of capitalist western society, up until the late 60’s they assisted with the taking of aboriginal children from their families in the stolen generation and put the children into missions where they would follow strict pattern of work and christian education
reblogging again because of that whole “but salvation army is changed!!11!!” post circulating because people need to be reminded of the terrible shit they’ve done
Salvation Army is the worst.
The divide between black tumblr.