Some new Janelle for your Friday.
Max Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Eddie Kahn, bass; Clifford Jordan, tenor sax, Coleridge Perkinson, piano.
Live on Belgian television, possibly circa 1964. Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now Suite is a landmark jazz album and an artistic jewel of the Civil Right Movement.
We get two pieces of ”Tiptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” here. I’m not sure why the third was not included on the video, but it’s worth a listen to complete Roach’s thought. (Follow the link above.) He doesn’t simply “Peace” as a nirvana state. It’s jagged, weary, even incomplete.
”Tears for Johannesburg” was Roach’s artistic reckoning with the Sharpsville massacre, which I’d encourage you to read about — particularly right now.
Juneteenth marks the last arrival of the news of an emancipation formally proclaimed two and a half years earlier. By the time of its arrival in Galveston, the proclamation’s author had been reelected & assassinated. We should not forget that slavery continued in a couple Union states until the 6 December 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified and finally abolished the practice. Nor should we forget that last Union state to ratify that amendment was Kentucky — on 18 March 1976.
Johnson’s amnesty, Reconstruction’s failure, Jim Crow, the mass perpetuation Lost Cause myth, federal anti-immigrant laws, segregation, and redlining thwarted a national reckoning with the political, social, and moral devastation of slavery & racism for generations.
Juneteenth’s rightly a day of celebration. It’s also a reminder of how far we yet have to go as a country, how fragile progress can be. It is a call seeking a response, because the work of emancipation remains incomplete.
Gotta pay attention, man. The whole way though.
We must never let love die.
This song was written and first performed at the Westbury Music Festival three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Below is that original performance in full:
7 Apr 1968
Let's begin the march.
31 Jan 2012
Let's shift gears a little bit.
Thanks for listening this week, everyone.
Written in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1964.
Ms. Holiday sings one of the most gut wrenching songs of the civil rights struggle. Her label, Columbia, refused to record Strange Fruit due to fears of a negative reaction from the South. However, they did agree to a one session opt out of her contract in order to record this track.