‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing in White America

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More: ‘A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing in White America : Code Switch : NPR

Several years ago, Stanford historian Allyson Hobbs was talking with a favorite aunt, who was also the family storyteller. Hobbs learned that she had a distant cousin whom she’d never met nor heard of.

Which is exactly the way the cousin wanted it.

Hobbs’ cousin had been living as white, far away in California, since she’d graduated from high school. This was at the insistence of her mother.

“She was black, but she looked white,” Hobbs said. “And her mother decided it was in her best interest to move far away from Chicago, to Los Angeles, and to assume the life of a white woman.”

“Her mother really felt that this was the very best thing she could do for her daughter,” Hobbs continued. “She felt this was a way to offer opportunities to her daughter that she wouldn’t have living as a black woman on the South Side of Chicago.”

In California, the young woman passed as white. She married a white man, and they had children who never knew they had black blood. Then, one day, years later, her phone rang.

It was the woman’s mother with distressing news: Her father was dying, and she needed to return home immediately to tell him goodbye.

The cousin replied, “I can’t. I’m a white woman now.”

She missed her father’s funeral, and never saw her mother or siblings again.

Hobbs was haunted by the story, and constantly went back to it in her mind. It made her realize that all the tales she’d heard about passing over the years involved the gains that people expected for leaving their black identity behind. But through her research, she came to understand there was another, critical part of the experience:

“To write a history of passing is to write a history of loss.”

‘Who Are Your People?’

Loss of self. Loss of family. Loss of community. Loss of the ability to answer honestly the question black people have been asking each other since before Emancipation: “Who are your people?”

More at NPR.

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146 comments

1 freetoken  Jun 14, 2015 9:28:03pm
“”Who are your people?”“

I’m coming to the conclusion that is not a well formed question, at least how many people would want that question understood.

Today I propose that the question to be asked is “With whom do you want to identify?”

Passing is one of those American bits of history that really stand out as a kind of road sign on the path to understanding American society.

Nearly all people who would self-label as African American or Black will also have significant European ancestry. And on the other hand there is non-trivial portion of self-identifying “white” Americans who have colonial era ancestors of color, not from Europe but from Africa.

Our biological admixture is ahead of our constructing of social descriptions, i.e., labels, we want to put on each other.

The NPR story is a good reminder of the horror of the past, which some Americans want to sweep under the rug.

This gets to the problem of identity and how there are still some antiquated ideas about such floating about in our society.

Last night I wrote a comment about a blog post of a fundamentalist seminary professor: littlegreenfootballs.com
in which said professor was trying to playa Dolezal card against Caitlyn Jenner. Among the many problems with this professor’s approach is his belief in “biological identity” which for him means not only gender but also “race”. To people like him, identity is something essential, ordained by God.

That is an old way of thinking of and I wish we had more leaders who would tackle head on the meaning of “identity” in America today.

2 CriticalDragon1177  Jun 14, 2015 11:27:07pm

Vicious Babushka,

Its so sad that this was ever necessary in the first place. Its just another thing that shows us how horrible racism actually is.

3 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 11:17:35am

Fascinating read.

4 jaunte  Jun 15, 2015 11:21:20am
5 Mattand  Jun 15, 2015 11:24:37am

These kind of stories remind me of family and friends who shit on African-Americans for acting too “black” for their tastes, and then shit on African-Americans who try to act too “white” as a way to fit in.

One of my first encounters with “political incorrectness” as a kid, long before the phrase was coined. Also known as “I’m not racist, I’m just calling it as I see it.”

6 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 11:25:06am

It’s an indictment of the persistence of racism that it’s considered perfectly normal for Black people to “pass” whenever they can get away with it, but if someone goes the other way everyone is all WTF

7 Justanotherhuman  Jun 15, 2015 11:26:00am

re: #4 jaunte

Well, it did benefit her by way of a full scholarship to Howard U, and several jobs which she got by pretending to be Black which should have gone to actual Black people.

What a way to steal an identity.

8 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 11:26:26am

I think a lot of people get upset because they feel that Ms D has “betrayed” her race, just like Bruce Jenner “betrayed” his gender.

They cannot get over their visceral disgust and do not understand why the rest of the world does not share it.

9 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 11:26:52am

re: #6 The Vicious Babushka

It’s an indictment of the persistence of racism that it’s considered perfectly normal for Black people to “pass” whenever they can get away with it, but if someone goes the other way everyone is all WTF

What’s really sad is in a lot of cultures that having dark skin is seen negatively while having lighter is seen positively. It shouldn’t matter either way.

10 jaunte  Jun 15, 2015 11:27:35am

re: #7 Justanotherhuman

Well, it did benefit her by way of a full scholarship to Howard U, and several jobs which she got by pretending to be Black which should have gone to actual Black people.

What a way to steal an identity.

Taking a free ride on the recent attempts at corrective measures.

11 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 11:29:33am

re: #9 HappyWarrior

What’s really sad is in a lot of cultures that having dark skin is seen negatively while having lighter is seen positively. It shouldn’t matter either way.

Even white people getting tan in the sun was seen as something that only peasants working out in the fields did. Upper class women always wrapped themselves carefully before going out in the sun.

Ironically, the “tan look” was introduced by Coco Chanel in the 1920’s because of the popularity of Josephine Baker, a Black entertainer.

12 Backwoods_Sleuth  Jun 15, 2015 11:29:56am
13 team_fukit  Jun 15, 2015 11:30:02am

re: #1 freetoken

They really just refuse to admit that identity is fairly fluid and that maybe defining these categories is way more complicated and nuanced than a census check box will allow

14 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 11:30:14am

Just the very words black and white when you really think about it. Black is seen as sinister and almost demonic. White is angelic and almost divine. Fact is I’m not really white in my skin tone and most “black” people aren’t really “black either. We created these terms for race as a means of creating the other and what is really sad as I got at in my number 9 is that cultural and yes religious connotation caused many black people to view their race negatively. IT shouldn’t be any surprise why a black pride movement sprang out in response to decades and centuries of forced inferiority.

15 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 11:31:24am

re: #11 The Vicious Babushka

Even white people getting tan in the sun was seen as something that only peasants working out in the fields did. Upper class women always wrapped themselves carefully before going out in the sun.

Ironically, the “tan look” was introduced by Coco Chanel in the 1920’s because of the popularity of Josephine Baker, a Black entertainer.

Was not aware of that regarding Josephine Baker but you’re right. To be tan for the longest time was seen as proof of one being part of the peasantry.

16 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 11:35:32am

Blacks “passing” is a motif in literature.

I’m thinking of Mark Twain’s Puddin’head Wilson and Walter Moseley’s Devil In A Blue Dress.

The musical Showboat.

17 Justanotherhuman  Jun 15, 2015 11:37:54am

Any one who’s old enough has either seen this soap opera or heard about it. They didn’t even cast a Black woman as the girl who passes for white—that was Susan Kohner, a woman born of a Mexican mother and Czech-Jewish father And Juanita Moore, who played Sarah Jane’s mother, was billed seventh, behind actors with much smaller roles, even though her part was second largest.

imdb.com

18 b_sharp  Jun 15, 2015 11:38:21am

re: #1 freetoken

I’m coming to the conclusion that is not a well formed question, at least how many people would want that question understood.

Today I propose that the question to be asked is “With whom do you want to identify?”

Passing is one of those American bits of history that really stand out as a kind of road sign on the path to understanding American society.

Nearly all people who would self-label as African American or Black will also have significant European ancestry. And on the other hand there is non-trivial portion of self-identifying “white” Americans who have colonial era ancestors of color, not from Europe but from Africa.

Our biological admixture is ahead of our constructing of social descriptions, i.e., labels, we want to put on each other.

The NPR story is a good reminder of the horror of the past, which some Americans want to sweep under the rug.

This gets to the problem of identity and how there are still some antiquated ideas about such floating about in our society.

Last night I wrote a comment about a blog post of a fundamentalist seminary professor: littlegreenfootballs.com
in which said professor was trying to playa Dolezal card against Caitlyn Jenner. Among the many problems with this professor’s approach is his belief in “biological identity” which for him means not only gender but also “race”. To people like him, identity is something essential, ordained by God.

That is an old way of thinking of and I wish we had more leaders who would tackle head on the meaning of “identity” in America today.

Essentialism sucks.

19 b_sharp  Jun 15, 2015 11:39:36am

re: #8 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

I think a lot of people get upset because they feel that Ms D has “betrayed” her race, just like Bruce Jenner “bedrayed” his gender.

They cannot get over their visceral disgust and do not understand why the rest of the world does not share it.

I sure hope not.

But then I am naive.

(bolding mine)

20 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 11:44:07am

It’s a fascinating subject that most people have formed their opinions about without the troublesome addition of thought.

21 Snarknado!  Jun 15, 2015 11:44:39am

re: #16 The Vicious Babushka

Blacks “passing” is a motif in literature.

I’m thinking of Mark Twain’s Puddin’head Wilson and Walter Moseley’s Devil In A Blue Dress.

The musical Showboat.

And some by blacks: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson) and Passing (Nella Larson).

22 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 11:46:27am

re: #21 Snarknado!

And some by blacks: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson) and Passing (Nella Larson).

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.

23 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 11:50:42am

A good read:

24 Timothy Watson  Jun 15, 2015 11:51:15am

Did this get mentioned last thread?

A blogger who pleaded guilty in a conspiracy to breaking in to a nursing home and shooting unauthorized video of the ailing wife of a U.S. senator was sentenced Monday to serve more than two years in prison.

Twenty-nine-year-old Clayton Kelly of Pearl, Mississippi, shot the video of Sen. Thad Cochran’s then-wife in 2014.

On Monday, Mississippi Circuit Judge William Chapman gave Kelly the full five-year maximum sentence, but he’ll be in prison for half that time. The rest is on probation.

talkingpointsmemo.com

25 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 11:55:08am
26 Jebediah, RBG  Jun 15, 2015 11:56:09am

re: #24 Timothy Watson

Was just about to post that.
Wondering if it means the whole affair is done, or if Nasty Chucky still needs to avoid that state.

27 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 11:57:28am

re: #25 Kragar

28 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 11:58:36am

re: #24 Timothy Watson

Did this get mentioned last thread?

talkingpointsmemo.com

If he’s anything like UpChuck, he won’t be able to control himself, and will violate the terms of his probation.

29 Jebediah, RBG  Jun 15, 2015 11:59:27am

re: #25 Kragar

First several responses don’t seem to be from his biggest fans…

30 Nyet  Jun 15, 2015 12:00:32pm

re: #24 Timothy Watson

Wasn’t the stalker Chucky somehow connected to this?

31 Feline Fearless Leader  Jun 15, 2015 12:03:10pm

re: #30 Nyet

Wasn’t the stalker Chucky somehow connected to this?

That is what a grand jury in Mississippi was interested in finding out.

32 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:04:07pm
33 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 12:06:42pm

re: #25 Kragar

[Embedded content]

Shove a hook through the eyes of people just doing their jobs. Stay classy Mike.

34 Iwouldprefernotto  Jun 15, 2015 12:07:22pm

Does the IRS have an office in the Gulf of Mexico?

35 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:08:07pm

re: #33 HappyWarrior

Shove a hook through the eyes of people just doing their jobs. Stay classy Mike.

Mike wants to abolish the IRS and replace it with the bullshit “Fair Tax” (30% federal sales tax) which is sticking a hook through the eyes of all Americans who are not the 1%.

36 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:08:32pm
37 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 12:08:40pm

re: #35 The Vicious Babushka

Mike wants to abolish the IRS and replace it with the bullshit “Fair Tax” (30% federal sales tax) which is sticking a hook through the eyes of all Americans who are not the 1%.

He’s a dick. Someone ought to smack him.

38 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:09:15pm

re: #37 HappyWarrior

He’s a dick. Someone ought to smack him.

Dick is too kind.
He’s part of a subculture that rewards assholes.

39 jaunte  Jun 15, 2015 12:09:40pm

Former AR Gov, SeaBass Guitarist, Radio Commentator

40 darthstar  Jun 15, 2015 12:10:21pm

re: #36 The Vicious Babushka

41 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 12:10:24pm

re: #38 No Country For Old Haters

Dick is too kind.
He’s part of a subculture that rewards assholes.

also known as the Republican Party.

42 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:11:16pm

re: #41 HappyWarrior

also known as the Republican Party.

Or “Conservative Christianists.” Same thing really.

43 Feline Fearless Leader  Jun 15, 2015 12:12:30pm

re: #42 No Country For Old Haters

Or “Conservative Christianists.” Same thing really.

Compassionate about something - but I don’t think it’s their fellow man. Unless they also have a pretty non-standard definition of the fellow man that deserves their compassion.

44 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:14:00pm
45 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:17:48pm
46 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:19:05pm

re: #45 wrenchwench

Elvis kept the skin color and racial identity, but nearly everything else about his music was black.

47 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:19:59pm

re: #46 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

Elvis kept the skin color and racial identity, but nearly everything else about his music was black.

That’s called “appropriation”

48 lawhawk  Jun 15, 2015 12:20:00pm

re: #35 The Vicious Babushka

Mike wants to abolish the IRS and replace it with the bullshit “Fair Tax” (30% federal sales tax) which is sticking a hook through the eyes of all Americans who are not the 1%.

The tax would actually be closer to 40%, or even higher depending on how the tax base is set up. The administration would be even more onerous on businesses, and the poor would be slammed with highly regressive tax, all while the rich are able to shield their wealth and continue to accumulate it at an increased rate.

49 Feline Fearless Leader  Jun 15, 2015 12:20:59pm

re: #48 lawhawk

The tax would actually be closer to 40%, or even higher depending on how the tax base is set up. The administration would be even more onerous on businesses, and the poor would be slammed with highly regressive tax, all while the rich are able to shield their wealth and continue to accumulate it at an increased rate.

I doubt Huck sees anything wrong with that.

50 #FergusonFireside  Jun 15, 2015 12:21:42pm

re: #23 wrenchwench

A good read:

[Embedded content]

I’d be willing to bet you that the brothers hollering about Rachel Dolezal doing work wouldn’t be as easy on Ronald Dolezal showing up in an Afro- toupee.

51 jaunte  Jun 15, 2015 12:22:13pm

re: #44 The Vicious Babushka
From your link:

“…we should offer Mr. Linder first class accommodations on the classic split timber transport. Where his body will be gently massaged with a specially heated petroleum-based sealant and his skin covered in a soft and fluffy, all natural, poultry down”

52 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:22:15pm

re: #48 lawhawk

The tax would actually be closer to 40%, or even higher depending on how the tax base is set up. The administration would be even more onerous on businesses, and the poor would be slammed with highly regressive tax, all while the rich are able to shield their wealth and continue to accumulate it at an increased rate.

According to the fairtax.org all businesses would be exempt from the sales tax, it would apply only to consumers. Also: no capital gains tax. It would just be a massive assfuck of poor & about-to-become-poor (“middle class”) people

53 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:22:25pm

re: #48 lawhawk

The tax would actually be closer to 40%, or even higher depending on how the tax base is set up. The administration would be even more onerous on businesses, and the poor would be slammed with highly regressive tax, all while the rich are able to shield their wealth and continue to accumulate it at an increased rate.

I’m pretty sure that’s a feature rather than a bug as far as the right-wing asshats are concerned.

54 piratedan  Jun 15, 2015 12:23:09pm

not sure that it matters at this stage, but was she (R. Dolezal) doing a good job?

55 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:23:13pm

re: #51 jaunte

From your link:

That page is the best beatdown of the “Fairtax” idea I have ever seen. I love to read it over and over.

56 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 12:23:19pm

A really high sales tax would discourage consumers big time and would actually decrease profits. It’s not only wrong. It’s bad business too but what to expect from a policy that is designed only to coddle the very wealthy.

57 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:23:55pm

re: #54 piratedan

not sure that it matters at this stage, but was she (R. Dolezal) doing a good job?

She reported some bogus hate crimes against herself.

58 #FergusonFireside  Jun 15, 2015 12:24:22pm

That is a beautiful snapper tho.

59 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:25:02pm

re: #54 piratedan

not sure that it matters at this stage, but was she (R. Dolezal) doing a good job?

It is not about her race or the quality of her work as much as that she presented herself under false pretenses. That is inexcusable.

60 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 12:25:19pm

re: #47 The Vicious Babushka

That’s called “appropriation”

So is Yo-Yo Ma doing the Bach Cello Sonatas. I’ll live with it.

61 calochortus  Jun 15, 2015 12:25:34pm

re: #51 jaunte

From your link:

In the interest of historical accuracy, tarring and feathering involved pine tar rather than petroleum products. It is liquid at a much lower temperature (and often handy in seaports because it was used to caulk boats.)

62 HappyWarrior  Jun 15, 2015 12:25:46pm

That really is a great take down of the “FairTax” in VB’s 44.

63 sagehen  Jun 15, 2015 12:27:09pm

re: #11 The Vicious Babushka

Ironically, the “tan look” was introduced by Coco Chanel in the 1920’s because of the popularity of Josephine Baker, a Black entertainer.

I thought it was because factory workers never see the sun, only wealthy people can spend their days laying out by the pool or playing golf and tennis…

64 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 12:28:27pm

re: #58 #FergusonFireside

That is a beautiful snapper tho.

Now, do you want to keep the Red Snapper or do you want to go for whats in THE BOX?!

65 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:28:40pm

re: #60 Decatur Deb

So is Yo-Yo Ma doing the Bach Cello Sonatas. I’ll live with it.

“Your-Your Mother”, please. Let’s be civil

66 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 12:29:21pm

re: #65 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

“Your-Your Mother”, please. Let’s be civil

Miles appropriating Rodrigo.

67 The Vicious Babushka  Jun 15, 2015 12:29:34pm

re: #63 sagehen

I thought it was because factory workers never see the sun, only wealthy people can spend their days laying out by the pool or playing golf and tennis…

Good point. In pre-industrial times a tan on a white person was a sign they worked in the fields.

68 piratedan  Jun 15, 2015 12:29:59pm

re: #59 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

not arguing that point, misrepresentation of one’s self is and should be a termination offense. Kind of what happened to George O’Leary when he lost the GT Football job. Just trying to understand the motivation behind her taking the job, the false equivalence between what took place with Sen. Warren and why her family would feel compelled to do this… and if she was actually doing good things for the NAACP.

69 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:33:04pm

re: #63 sagehen

I thought it was because factory workers never see the sun, only wealthy people can spend their days laying out by the pool or playing golf and tennis…

It has refversed itself. Rich people used to be portly because they could eat, while the poor were thin.

Now the poor are fat from eating poor-quality cheap fatty, sugary, starchy food while the rich are thin and subsist on a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables…

70 BeachDem  Jun 15, 2015 12:33:15pm

re: #46 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

Elvis kept the skin color and racial identity, but nearly everything else about his music was black.

So did Pat Boone (gag me with a rusty fork) before he became a white tatted biker. //

71 GlutenFreeJesus  Jun 15, 2015 12:34:12pm

72 Feline Fearless Leader  Jun 15, 2015 12:34:35pm

re: #67 The Vicious Babushka

Good point. In pre-industrial times a tan on a white person was a sign they worked in the fields.

Thus the term “red neck” as well for rural folk. Working outside and bent over looking at the ground a lot.

73 Three Chord Monty  Jun 15, 2015 12:34:55pm

re: #46 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

Elvis kept the skin color and racial identity, but nearly everything else about his music was black.

Disagree. There was plenty of hillbilly, Jimmie Rodgers/Hank Williams in what he did. It gets forgotten sometimes, but it was a major ingredient.

74 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:35:19pm

re: #68 piratedan

not arguing that point, misrepresentation of one’s self is and should be a termination offense. Kind of what happened to George O’Leary when he lost the GT Football job. Just trying to understand the motivation behind her taking the job, the false equivalence between what took place with Sen. Warren and why her family would feel compelled to do this… and if she was actually doing good things for the NAACP.

That does seem to have a deeper background, all of which is irrelevant to the way that the Right WIng is holding this up as some kinda proof that librulz suck and are the real racists, etc…

75 piratedan  Jun 15, 2015 12:38:16pm

re: #74 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

so in short, it’s a personal issue that is complicated but the RWNM (right wing noise machine) is busy trying to twitterize it into another bludgeoning point.

76 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:38:48pm

re: #74 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

That does seem to have a deeper background, all of which is irrelevant to the way that the Right WIng is holding this up as some kinda proof that librulz suck and are the real racists, etc…

The only thing relevant to this claim from the right-wing lunatics, is that they lie constantly in defense of an indefensible, fantasy-based worldview.

77 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:39:17pm

re: #73 Three Chord Monty

Disagree. There was plenty of hillbilly, Jimmie Rodgers/Hank Williams in what he did. It gets forgotten sometimes, but it was a major ingredient.

There was plenty of not-black in his music, but he was able to cash in on black music in ways that black musicians could not.

78 Rev_Arthur_Icantbreatheing  Jun 15, 2015 12:39:38pm

Wow, this Dolezal thing just keeps going down the rabbit hole:
HooBoy: Rachel Dolezal Sued Howard University for Discrimination in 2002

79 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 12:39:57pm

re: #71 GlutenFreeJesus

[Embedded content]

Video

Required Long Duk Dong ding.

80 Rev_Arthur_Icantbreatheing  Jun 15, 2015 12:40:29pm

There was a whole generation of 60s musicians who appropriated the blues.

81 darthstar  Jun 15, 2015 12:41:28pm

#NoMoreBushes is trending…not that Twitter means anything in the grand scheme of things.

82 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 12:42:10pm

Jim Boulware said liberal policies had spurred a Child Protective Services investigation after he choked his mother two years ago, which landed him in jail for three weeks - until his father bailed him out.

“I knew he was angry at police, he blamed them for taking his son,” the elder Boulware said. “I tried to tell him the police didn’t do it. The police were doing their job to enforce the laws. If you want to get to that, yo’ve got to go back to the liberal people that put these laws in place, to where CPS and all can grab kids.”

The elder Boulware said his son was broke and unable to find work due to his criminal record, although his son had purchased an $8,250 armored vehicle on eBay that he used during the assault on police headquarters.

83 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:43:23pm

re: #82 Kragar

[Embedded content]

Father = Part of the problem.

84 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 12:43:32pm

re: #80 Rev_Arthur_Icantbreatheing

There was a whole generation of 60s1920’s musicians who appropriated the blues.

On leaving school at the age of 15, Gershwin found his first job as a “song plugger” for Jerome H. Remick and Company, a publishing firm on New York City’s Tin Pan Alley, where he earned $15 a week. His first published song was “When You Want ‘Em, You Can’t Get ‘Em, When You’ve Got ‘Em, You Don’t Want ‘Em”. It was published in 1916 when Gershwin was only 17 years old and earned him 50 cents. His 1917 novelty rag, “Rialto Ripples”, was a commercial success, and in 1919 he scored his first big national hit with his song, “Swanee”, with words by Irving Caesar. Al Jolson, a famous Broadway singer of the day, heard Gershwin perform “Swanee” at a party and decided to sing it in one of his shows.[14]

In 1916, Gershwin started working for Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York, recording and arranging. He produced dozens, if not hundreds, of rolls under his own and assumed names. (Pseudonyms attributed to Gershwin include Fred Murtha and Bert Wynn.) He also recorded rolls of his own compositions for the Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon reproducing pianos. As well as recording piano rolls, Gershwin made a brief foray into vaudeville, accompanying both Nora Bayes and Louise Dresser on the piano.[15]

In the late 1910s, Gershwin met songwriter and music director William Daly. The two collaborated on the Broadway musicals Piccadilly to Broadway (1920) and For Goodness’ Sake (1922), and jointly composed the score for Our Nell (1923). This was the beginning of a long friendship; Daly was a frequent arranger, orchestrator and conductor of Gershwin’s music, and Gershwin periodically turned to him for musical advice.[16]

85 allegro  Jun 15, 2015 12:43:44pm

re: #82 Kragar

[Embedded content]

That apple didn’t fall far.

86 Three Chord Monty  Jun 15, 2015 12:44:01pm

re: #77 wrenchwench

There was plenty of not-black in his music, but he was able to cash in on black music in ways that black musicians could not.

I think it would be bizarre to argue otherwise. Nevertheless, leaving out the hillbilly side of rock’n’roll roots doesn’t make much sense to me.

87 darthstar  Jun 15, 2015 12:45:08pm

re: #85 allegro

That apple didn’t fall far.

I used a similar analogy.

88 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:46:19pm

re: #86 Three Chord Monty

I think it would be bizarre to argue otherwise. Nevertheless, leaving out the hillbilly side of rock’n’roll roots doesn’t make much sense to me.

The ‘hillbilly side’ doesn’t enter into the discussion of appropriation when you’re talking about white musicians.

89 Lidane  Jun 15, 2015 12:46:35pm

re: #82 Kragar

“If you want to get to that, you’ve got to go back to the liberal people that put these laws in place, to where CPS and all can grab kids.”

Liberal lawmakers. In Texas? ROFL.

What a fucking nutcase.

90 allegro  Jun 15, 2015 12:47:48pm

re: #89 Lidane

Liberal lawmakers. In Texas? ROFL.

What a fucking nutcase.

All the liberals who think choking your mom might be just a bit anti-social and all.

91 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:48:42pm

re: #89 Lidane

Liberal lawmakers. In Texas? ROFL.

What a fucking nutcase.

He knows he can get in real trouble if he talks about women that way.

92 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:48:56pm

re: #82 Kragar

“…If you want to get to that, you’ve got to go back to the liberal people that put these laws in place, to where CPS and all can grab kids.”

Because wives and children are chattels and white males should be able to dispose over them at will.

/

93 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:48:59pm

re: #90 allegro

All the liberals who think choking your mom might be just a bit anti-social and all.

When your whole subculture is anti-social, you can’t see that as a problem, and instead have to blame the people who created a civilized society.

94 Fourth Football of the Apocalypse  Jun 15, 2015 12:49:21pm

re: #82 Kragar

Gosh, even in a open-carrying good old fashioned Patriotic conservative real American state like Texas the liberals run everything….

///////

95 Three Chord Monty  Jun 15, 2015 12:50:28pm

re: #88 wrenchwench

The ‘hillbilly side’ doesn’t enter into the discussion of appropriation when you’re talking about white musicians.

I responded to a post that said just about everything in Elvis’ music was black, so that’s twice now you’re responding to something I didn’t say anything about.

96 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Jun 15, 2015 12:51:04pm

re: #95 Three Chord Monty

I responded to a post that said just about everything in Elvis’ music was black, so that’s twice now you’re responding to something I didn’t say anything about.

Now I’m sorry I started this tussle.

97 Rev_Arthur_Icantbreatheing  Jun 15, 2015 12:52:42pm

re: #84 Decatur Deb

Wasn’t Gershwin more jazz?

Gershwin was influenced by French composers of the early twentieth century. In turn Maurice Ravel was impressed with Gershwin’s abilities, commenting, “Personally I find jazz most interesting: the rhythms, the way the melodies are handled, the melodies themselves. I have heard of George Gershwin’s works and I find them intriguing.”[37] The orchestrations in Gershwin’s symphonic works often seem similar to those of Ravel; likewise, Ravel’s two piano concertos evince an influence of Gershwin.

98 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 12:53:53pm

re: #95 Three Chord Monty

I responded to a post that said just about everything in Elvis’ music was black, so that’s twice now you’re responding to something I didn’t say anything about.

I responded in the entire context, not just to you. Sorry.

99 #FergusonFireside  Jun 15, 2015 12:54:59pm

re: #74 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

re: #75 piratedan

Because they are riled up by anything to do with black.

Pavlovian.

100 BeachDem  Jun 15, 2015 12:55:41pm

re: #89 Lidane

Liberal lawmakers. In Texas? ROFL.

What a fucking nutcase.

And don’t forget, according to comments at the original Dallas newspaper article, it was an Obama-appointed local Texas judge who took away his kid, sent the kid to be raped in foster care (although it was the grandmother who got custody) and then a similar Obama-appointed liberal judge let Boulware out of jail and gave him back his guns, etc.

How Obama got to appoint state judges in Texas will remain an “unknown unknown,” at least for now.

So, as you can plainly see, all Obama’s fault.

101 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 12:57:46pm

re: #97 Rev_Arthur_Icantbreatheing

Wasn’t Gershwin more jazz?

Rhapsody in …

102 Fourth Football of the Apocalypse  Jun 15, 2015 12:57:54pm

re: #100 BeachDem

then a similar Obama-appointed liberal judge let Boulware out of jail and gave him back his guns, etc.

Why’s an Obama appointed local state judge in Texas giving somebody back their gunz? I thought we were confiscating all the guns???

/

103 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 12:59:20pm

re: #102 Fourth Football of the Apocalypse

Why’s an Obama appointed local state judge in Texas giving somebody back their gunz? I thought we were confiscating all the guns???

/

Obama’s waiting for his 3rd term to take the guns and make us all gay.

104 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:00:21pm

re: #103 No Country For Old Haters

Obama’s waiting for his 3rd term to take the guns and make us all gay.

What’s your Freeper name?

105 darthstar  Jun 15, 2015 1:00:29pm
106 urbanmeemaw  Jun 15, 2015 1:01:24pm

re: #17 Justanotherhuman

Any one who’s old enough has either seen this soap opera or heard about it. They didn’t even cast a Black woman as the girl who passes for white—that was Susan Kohner, a woman born of a Mexican mother and Czech-Jewish father And Juanita Moore, who played Sarah Jane’s mother, was billed seventh, behind actors with much smaller roles, even though her part was second largest.

imdb.com

I’ve seen it several times and I cry every time. The saddest thing to me is that someone feels compelled to deny a part of themselves, though I in no way can judge that choice, given the physical and emotional brutality of racism.

107 Lidane  Jun 15, 2015 1:01:52pm

*facepalm*

108 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 1:01:59pm
109 BeachDem  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:04pm

re: #102 Fourth Football of the Apocalypse

Why’s an Obama appointed local state judge in Texas giving somebody back their gunz? I thought we were confiscating all the guns???

/

Pleez—don’t you see it’s all a ploy to lull them into a false sense of security?? That Obama, he’s always got something up his sleeve.
/

It all makes perfect sense in a “Through the Looking Glass” kind of way!!

110 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:06pm
111 Three Chord Monty  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:07pm

No worries. In the past I read so many things that harped on the appropriation of race music that almost never mentioned the other half that I was surprised years later when I started to hear things in more context. By the time this collection came out I had a better understanding—and I well realize why there was something of an overcompensation—but this sort of thing seems to hit all the right notes. I have a great many R&B collections and box sets, and other things like American Pop and the Harry Smith anthology. This one puts it all together as well or better than anything else I’ve ever seen.

amazon.com

112 Eventual Carrion  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:08pm

re: #105 darthstar

[Embedded content]

And just refer to him a Jeb, not Jeb Bush *cringe*

113 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:27pm

re: #104 Decatur Deb

What’s your Freeper name?

You won’t be laughing so hard when you’re defenseless and gay. Just wait, he’ll declare the Liberal dictatorship any day now.

114 allegro  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:42pm

re: #108 wrenchwench

[Embedded content]

He was a really good swimmer.

115 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:02:54pm

re: #107 Lidane

*facepalm*

[Embedded content]

What if we’re experiencing God’s wrath because we keep electing Republicans?

116 BeachDem  Jun 15, 2015 1:03:12pm

re: #103 No Country For Old Haters

Obama’s waiting for his 3rd term to take the guns and make us all gay.

I already have my outfit picked out.

117 wrenchwench  Jun 15, 2015 1:04:25pm

re: #107 Lidane

*facepalm*

[Embedded content]

She must have done something awful for God to have put her in Bakersfield.

118 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:04:27pm

re: #112 Eventual Carrion

And just refer to him a Jeb, not Jeb Bush *cringe*

I can’t see JEB! without saying it like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies would say it.

Yes, I know it was Jed on the show.

119 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:07:49pm
120 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 1:07:51pm

re: #118 Kragar

I can’t see JEB! without saying it like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies would say it.

Yes, I know it was Jed on the show.

The whole “Jeb” thing bothers me because he’s trying to make a patrician name, John Ellis Bush, sound folksy. He’s not a regular guy no matter how hard he tries to fake it.

121 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:08:28pm
122 urbanmeemaw  Jun 15, 2015 1:08:56pm

re: #21 Snarknado!

And some by blacks: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson) and Passing (Nella Larson).

Here’s another one by Gregory Williams (former President of University of Cincinnati):

“Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy who Discovered He Was Black,”

Riveting book.

123 Targetpractice  Jun 15, 2015 1:09:25pm

re: #121 Kragar

[Embedded content]

That the President seems “liberal” to Jeb is a stark indication of just how conservative the GOP has become.

124 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:09:54pm

re: #113 No Country For Old Haters

You won’t be laughing so hard when you’re defenseless and gay. Just wait, he’ll declare the Liberal dictatorship any day now.

Judge Roy Moore is the last line of defence for my masculinity. After that it’s just me and my wife and our arsenal.

125 allegro  Jun 15, 2015 1:09:59pm

re: #120 No Country For Old Haters

The whole “Jeb” thing bothers me because he’s trying to make a patrician name, John Ellis Bush, sound folksy. He’s not a regular guy no matter how hard he tries to fake it.

Didn’t he check the hispanic box on a thing? Was he doing a Rachel?

126 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:10:55pm
127 Fourth Football of the Apocalypse  Jun 15, 2015 1:11:03pm

re: #121 Kragar

Why not?

128 No Country For Old Haters  Jun 15, 2015 1:11:14pm

re: #121 Kragar

129 The Mountain That Blogs  Jun 15, 2015 1:11:31pm

GOB Bush?

130 Three Chord Monty  Jun 15, 2015 1:11:46pm

Not sure if this was posted here:

Rachel Dolezal’s Creationist Parents

131 darthstar  Jun 15, 2015 1:13:33pm
132 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:14:09pm
133 EPR-radar  Jun 15, 2015 1:14:26pm

re: #107 Lidane

More proof that CA Republicans are pretty much as batshit insane as Republicans anywhere else in the US. They are just out-voted at the state level, hopefully indefinitely.

134 Iwouldprefernotto  Jun 15, 2015 1:14:31pm

re: #130 Three Chord Monty

Not sure if this was posted here:

Rachel Dolezal’s Creationist Parents

Explains a lot. They didn’t want a black daughter. She shye become a lesbian next.

135 urbanmeemaw  Jun 15, 2015 1:15:17pm

re: #66 Decatur Deb

The Modern Jazz Quartet with Laurindo Almeida also did this piece (I have it on vinyl). Can’t wait to see Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead” film, which was shot in Cincinnati.

136 Kragar  Jun 15, 2015 1:16:16pm
137 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:17:04pm

re: #135 urbanmeemaw

The Modern Jazz Quartet with Laurindo Almeida also did this piece (I have it on vinyl). Can’t wait to see Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead” film, which was shot in Cincinnati.

Have it, think it’s on Blues on B.A.C.H. MJQ is one of the peak groups.

138 goddamnedfrank  Jun 15, 2015 1:17:46pm

re: #7 Justanotherhuman

Well, it did benefit her by way of a full scholarship to Howard U, and several jobs which she got by pretending to be Black which should have gone to actual Black people.

What a way to steal an identity.

I’ve heard no substantiation that she applied for the Howard scholarship checking “black.” What I have heard is that the art portfolio she submitted consisted of works depicting black subjects and historically african american themes.

Also, reported today that she tried to sue Howard for discriminating against her as a white person in the denial of a teaching position. The suit was dismissed and I’ve communicated with one person who says they took a painting class from her at Howard.

139 Targetpractice  Jun 15, 2015 1:18:10pm

re: #126 Kragar

[Embedded content]

“Citing Florida record,” except of course those parts that are detestable to voters. Those parts he’ll either try to ignore or pass the buck, just watch. I’m not really sure he wants to field a lot of questions about the Schiavo debacle.

140 EPR-radar  Jun 15, 2015 1:20:13pm

re: #139 Targetpractice

“Citing Florida record,” except of course those parts that are detestable to voters. Those parts he’ll either try to ignore or pass the buck, just watch. I’m not really sure he wants to field a lot of questions about the Schiavo debacle.

If the MSM were to do its job regarding the Schiavo case, that might expose the total indifference of RWNJs to facts and reality to a few people not already aware of this.

141 urbanmeemaw  Jun 15, 2015 1:22:47pm

re: #137 Decatur Deb

To this day one of my favorite albums (which I bought in 1966 or 1967). The Bach Fugue in A Minor just rocks.

142 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:35:17pm

re: #141 urbanmeemaw

To this day one of my favorite albums (which I bought in 1966 or 1967). The Bach Fugue in A Minor just rocks.

Buncha freakn’ appropriators.

143 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:39:02pm

re: #141 urbanmeemaw

You must love this, another album I’ve had to buy in formats from vinyl through CD. (IIRC, the feedback around 1:30 originated at Newport.)

144 urbanmeemaw  Jun 15, 2015 1:47:17pm

re: #143 Decatur Deb

I’ve not heard this album. I will have to check it out.

Also will check out Blues on B.A.C.H., as the album I bought is not on CD that I could find.

145 Decatur Deb  Jun 15, 2015 1:48:33pm

re: #144 urbanmeemaw

I’ve not heard this album. I will have to check it out.

Also will check out Blues on B.A.C.H., as the album I bought is not on CD that I could find.

BoB is (was) out there—got it a couple years ago.

146 Higgs Boson's Mate  Jun 15, 2015 3:37:07pm

re: #44 The Vicious Babushka

If you think IRS can be replaced with 30% #FairTax you’re too stupid to chew your own food

And if you don’t think that a 30% flat tax won’t create a robust shadow economy then you’re so stupid that you don’t have food.


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