The New Negro, 1957

Guests: King, Martin Luther with Waring, J. Waites
Theme: Race


Why do white people so often prefer black music when it’s performed by white people?

Exhibit A: the following commercial, which appears to be authentic, and was posted at YouTube with the title “Motown By White People.”

In light of yesterday’s post on Harry Connick, Jr.’s denunciation of white-Australian minstrelsy, I’m tempted to ask if this group’s work is a form of “blackface” as well. However, aside from how the men in this commercial, who call themselves The Blenders, are not literally wearing blackface, I suppose the distinction to be made between the two sets of white performers is something like “mockery” versus “admiration.” Which is not to say that there aren’t all sorts of more subtle, complex problems with the ubiquitous white appropriation of black music. 

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Tim Wise — On White Privilege

The Pathology of Privilege
Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality

For years, acclaimed author and speaker Tim Wise has been electrifying audiences on the college lecture circuit with his deeply personal take on whiteness and white privilege. In this spellbinding lecture, the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son offers a unique, inside-out view of race and racism in America. Expertly overcoming the defensiveness that often surrounds these issues, Wise provides a non-confrontational explanation of white privilege and the damage it does not only to people of color, but to white people as well. This is an invaluable classroom resource: an ideal introduction to the social construction of racial identities, and a critical new tool for exploring the often invoked - but seldom explained - concept of white privilege.

Tim Wise — Guilt or Responsibility

Here’s a clip from my October 6 speech in Detroit, for the Michigan Roundtable, in response to a question from the audience.

"Point out that they've never owned slaves." →