Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Sounds of the Earth Flow Through His Instrument

The Sounds of the Earth Flow 
Through His Instrument
by Stephanie Jeannot (c) 2016

The sounds of the earth flow through his instrument with freedom and democracy live there. And if I knew nothing about identity before, I realized in the few minutes that I was walking around Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA and viewing all the contentions about language, how important it is. I guess that is something we already know right! We have language. We use it and so it goes. Free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

And when you think about how much power lies in the tongue, it makes sense. You can persuade people. You say something and you change the mind. You channel thoughts to the listener or receiver of your word and suddenly that vehicle transported moves them.

They either love your expressions or they hate it.  If you think about Jazz and how it was first a tool that helped to gain black folks an identity, then you know what I am talking about. If it is good, it whets the appetite of the listener wanting to partake in it. Hence, the world being influenced and jazz becoming such a worldwide phenomenon since the day it was discovered in Jim Crow New Orleans by cornetist, Charles “King Buddy” Bolden.  If they love it, it is immortalized and forever remains a part of the known history.

If they hated it, the same applies but the expressions released become obscured by the fog and instead seen as a threat to society. As was jazz, seen as primitive nonsense because of it being free from Western restraints, given its free-naturedness, African polyrhythms and use of accidentals. 

Another example are misnomers used against people for being alien to the ways of thinking that summarize a culture. Even in today’s society when a hospital can publish in their brochures, "all except for Haitians" or a presidential candidate can say something like, "I'd like to thank the women for coming out of their kitchens to campaign for me." Wounding words that are part of free speech show the power of language. Yet, at most, things like this against a person’s identity are often forgotten. We rather argue and bicker within about someone being too light-skinned to play a role of their musical hero as opposed  to our young men who would stand on line over night for a pair of expensive sneakers or Iphones but wouldn't stand in line to vote in a presidential election. I guess when they say "sleep never felt so good," from without, Trump might be seeing this as truth, with every inch he grows closer to that title of President. 

When looking at the way things are and the societal values at full value, sometimes you need to question. What did he say? Why are they complaining about? How is it possible that he can say whatever prejudice about any culture and is winning campaigns and endorsements? Why isn’t this white person who was proven as the killer to that black man not in prison but that black man's case that was dismissed and never proven is still opened over a decade later and is still being investigated? When will these inequalities ever change? How long? What happened to Sandra Bland? Language as politics! 

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