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I’m listening to ‘FREEDOM RHYTHM & SOUND: revolutionary jazz & the civil rights movement 1963 – 1982’ double CD with booklet giving the historical background. This is another ace collection from Soul Jazz Records of Soho London.

After a ruling by the Federal Courts James Meredith was the first black student to be admitted to University of Mississippi in 1962.
“On June 5, 1966, Merdith now a Columbia University law student, and a few companions, began a walk from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson Mississippi to encourage African-Amercans to register and vote. It was called march agains fear. On June 6 he was wounded with a shotgun blast.
The next day the leaders of the major civil rights organisations, Dr Martin Luther King of the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Floyd McKissick of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and Stokely Carmichael of SNCC (Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee) announced that they would resume his march, and invited people from all over the country to join them.
” sleeve notes,

That is the kind of courage and unity that we need to take things forward today.

Black musicians and artists got behind the Civil Right Movement and formed a Black Arts Movement. They shifted their effort from the entertainment circuit to “community halls, art galleries, schools and public spaces. They turned their back on the mainstream record industry and its values – market-led forces, fame, hedonism – and chose instead to concentrate on ideas specifically focused on the creation of music, as the musicians role as education the community and on their identity as African -Americans.” p.3

“It would be fair to say that by the 1970s jazz musicians has successfully redefined the role of a musician in society. Music no longer soley entertained. Jazz music could also raise money for famine relief, support and educate communities, talk about nuclear war and prison riots.” p.27

Working class English people have much to learn from this. And this double CD from Soul Jazz Records is a model of agit disco music publication.

A parallel discourse by Howard Slater

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  1. By ‘jazz musicians’ on the web « pixiekean on 18 Jan 2010 at 6:01 pm

    […] https://szczelkuns.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/revolutionary-jazz-the-civil-rights-movement-in-the-usa/“It would be fair to say that by the 1970s jazz musicians has successfully redefined the role of a musician in society. Music no longer soley entertained. Jazz music could also raise money for famine relief, support and educate … […]

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