Cultural appropriation is everywhere. Whether it’s the fashion industry’s use of Native American ceremonial dress, where the end wearer has no context for the garment’s original intention, or, as covered in today’s piece, the appropriation of African American art, style and music by -largely, white men-and it’s repackaging as a consumer good.
The 13th poem of Unreconciled Doors- today’s piece,-is called “Emancipation” but in hindsight, should probably have a question mark behind it.
Emancipation can mean different things, it might be in an Irish context, the work of Daniel O’ Connell to secure Catholics in Ireland the right to vote or hold a seat in a UK parliament in the 19th Century, (see the very un-woke British depiction of his achievement below) ,or, and of greater relevancy to today’s piece-the abolition of slavery and “equal” rights.
I was glad to see in the recent biopic of Elvis by Baz Luhrmann, the highlighting of the key influences on the King’s work- such as exposure to Gospel music,Sister Rosetta Sharpe, friendship with B.B. King and the work of Big Mama Thornton (see backdrop of today’s poem-original Hound Dog recording, 1952).
John Lennon once said “Before Elvis, there was nothing”-well, there was-and there would be no Elvis without these originators.
I am not American, I am not African American and maybe do not have any authority to speak on any of the issues raised in today’s work, but I know one thing. The world would be a much poorer place, artistically, without the work of African American artists, and that’s without even scratching the surface of the poetic work created by the likes of Langston Hughes or Countee Cullen.
Unreconciled Doors is available to order in Kindle format now on Amazon for just $€£ 0.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited
If you like and if you can, having being delighted by this daily dose of dissonance, maybe Buy Me a Coffee please ,or even better, order Unreconciled Doors, so you can read along with Behind the Lines