A Year’s Worth of Wandering & Pondering in One Post

When I started my blog I read all kinds of nifty tips to make it awesome and get lots of people to read it.  Oddly enough, all of them fail to advise you to post something actually interesting.

This may sound a bit conceited, but I think most of the stuff I post here is pretty interesting to read.  Maybe not all of it.  Just 98%, give or take a couple percentage points.  I should know—I read it all the time, and I never get tired of me.

One fun tip talked about summarizing your blog’s content every once in awhile, so for all of you new readers here who keep searching for Skye’s non existent website or information on a certain convicted lindy hopper’s sentence*, here’s a handy dandy guide to all the other stuff you’re missing.  Or if you’ve already read them, here’s your opportunity to go back and relive the pain and/or the glory. Read the rest of this entry »

Echoes of a Revolution

In 1965, long before coming to Capitol Hill, future Congressman John Lewis led 600 people on a march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama to question Governor George C. Wallace’s role in subverting black voting rights in his state.  Wallace is the same man who less than a year before famously declared “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Having already been beaten several times from participating in the Freedom Rides and numerous other marches throughout the South, Lewis crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge into a wall of state troopers.  So bent on conflict, those officers had already donned their gas masks and had their billy clubs at the ready.  They had every intention of kicking Lewis’s ass.  Not only did he and the marchers keep going forward to meet them, but they did so with no intention of fighting back.

Congressman Lewis still bears scars from that day now remembered as Bloody Sunday.

The role of the song in that video in that powerful moment is one of many stories retold in the documentary Soundtrack of a Revolution whose main focus is the role of music during the Civil Rights movement.  Seems like music would be a minor thing within that epic struggle against institutionalized prejudice and hate, but this film illustrates how it was an important thread that bound people together in a time when they couldn’t afford stand alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Survivance and Dance

Note:  Long week, but no time to write a new post so I’m putting up some old ones.  This was actually originally posted on my MySpace page a couple of years ago, and then as a Facebook note.

I’m putting it up here because it touches on some issues raise in previous posts and also because I plan on elaborating on some others from it.  When I find the time.

I used to work at the National Museum of the American Indian.  There, I met Gerald McMaster, a curator who coined the term “Survivance” for one of the exhibits.   The word refers to the process by which Native communities endured though hundreds of years of challenges.

I went to the National Pow Wow hosted by my former employer in 2007.  It was an odd experience coming from a different kind of dance community.  The most significant one is that Pow Wow’s are not just about dancing (social and competition), but they are also equal parts ceremony, marketplace, and family reunion.  In that sense it’s a much more robust experience than going to a typical Lindy Hop event weekend.  I guess I could draw some parallels, but really, matching up a bunch of hobbyists with native communities that are thousands of years old can’t really compare.

The National Pow Wow 2007

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Hip Hop and International Relations Theory

Just wanted to take a moment to point out a few fun yet educational links for all you hip hop fans curious about international relations theory.

It starts off with a blog by author, professor, and director of the Institute of Middle East Studies here in DC, Marc Lynch, killing time by with his blog on ForeignPolicy.com entitled “Jay-Z vs the Game: Lessons for the American Primacy Debate.” It’s a simple yet brilliant explanation of some basic concepts using  feuds between various rappers as examples. Read the rest of this entry »

Charleston and/or Lindy Hop?

Check out  these trailers for the upcoming documentary “Everything Remains Raw: Hip-Hop’s Folkloric Lineage” by Moncell “ill Kozby” Durden.  I included one of these trailers in my Frankie95 video round up for Monday, but I wanted  break it out to address a related issue.

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