Momma, I'm So Sorry
Not just a trademarked segment of Le Show
The Easybeats - "Sorry"
YZ - "Thinking of a Master Plan"
Whoa. Reparations, I've heard of. Disambiguation, related but hardly the same ballgame. And though there is precedent for basic apologies, there are still enough unresolved ones to make Virginia's apology for its role in slavery notable. The public acknowledgment that government-sanctioned slavery "ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history" is remarkable not so much as a resolution, but as a progression in the conversation about this country's history and present ramifications.
As the resolution notes, "the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding." Don't get it twisted, as the present is hardly peaches'n cream. Biochemical Slang pointed out this recent poll on American attitudes toward Black History month (unsurprisingly, most every non-Black person found the month to be a token gesture as opposed to raising awareness; although, in fairness, those two options seem rather vague, in spite of the bluntness), suggesting that we need a lil' more to keep the conversation on race rolling.
So, you ask, what did I do this past weekend?
A couple documentaries have been on my mind: Byron Hurt's Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and Raquel Cepeda's Bling'd: Blood, Diamonds and Hip Hop. I'll save the full spiel as I go into greater detail in my upcoming Popmatters column. However, I'll say this: kinda meh on both efforts, but happy they're out there, token or not, to keep the convo going. And, most important, both make clear that hip hop/blackness is not the boogieman; the blood of commerce and social ills is on all of our hands.
So, as another Black History Month passes, I am thinking of a master plan for everybody, not just my brothers and sisters, man.