Jazz musicians such as Max Roach, Nina Simone in the US in the 60s were amongst the most vociferous, principled and impactful in demanding civil rights and respects. Similarly in other countries jazz musicians pushed hard to get more freedom for all, such as in Poland in the 1950s or in the UK against apartheid from the 60s on.
And yet now we see that many of the things that we had hoped would be cleared haven’t. The Floyd situation has brought things back, and not just for the iniquities in the USA. In the UK, for example, the Windrush scandal and going back to the problems of ‘selective memory’ over colonial exploitation and slavery.
Where has it all gone wrong? And where and how could we in jazz be taking the lead now to get things on track? We are aware that it’s not just racism in the US, but over here there has been an unwillingness to confront our colonial past, be it slavery or Windrush; while in other countries racism in many forms seems on the rise again.
Should we just ensure that we have our own “jazz house” in order, to set an example, or should we be more active?
Join this week’s informal discussion on Zoom.
Meeting ID: 819 3454 9169