Saturday, October 24, 2009

Awesome Wynton Marsalis interview from CNN

Marsalis: Racism and greed put blues at the back of the bus

. Does talk about racism, but puts it specifically in the context of slavery in a way that doesn't often get heard in the mainstream.

"CNN: Why was blues not regarded as something of value in this country?

MARSALIS: It came from who we didn't like. That's what it was -- it wasn't that we couldn't see it. Who it came from, we did not like them.

CNN: So do you include African-Americans in that? So black people didn't appreciate it?

MARSALIS: They didn't appreciate it. They don't now. That's part of the whole kind of self-hatred that comes from that type of slavery that the black American still labors under. That racism was heavy.

The legacy of it -- it wasn't just 50 years. It was seven generations, and if a generation is 33 years, ... seven or eight [generations]. That's a long time. And to recover from it has proven to be very difficult.

CNN: So is that what's going on with rap?

MARSALIS: No question. Rap is the repetition of the minstrel show.

But it's not going to go away, it was too many people. If it had been 100,000 people, it can go away. ... But it can't be millions of people and their descendants. [Slavery] was a very powerful and successful system. And it went on for a long time.

In the aftermath of slavery ... there was a retrenching, and [it turned into] the type of racism that was experienced by people who came to the North.

That consciousness has begun to shift, in the last 30 years. And that's 20 or 30 years of just thawing and shifting that's attached to 330 years [of slavery], and the thought you can get up and you will be better ... that's just asinine, it's absurd."

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