Hidden Racism in Music Culture

As I was looking at my Facebook feed I came across a video: “12 Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Know Were Racist.” (I Included the link below) I am a very positive individual and always try to see the good in others. Although Donald Trump really is pushing that side of me, but let’s not dive into politics!  Last week we were discussing the influence of African Americans during the early 20th century on American music culture. When I heard that the national anthem of Texas was about a man and his black love interest I was really confused. Texas?! Really? But I guess it’s just human nature to stereotype in some ways. But it really is shocking knowing that a heavily racist state would be singing about African Americans.   This brings me to back to my point about the nursery rhyme video. I never realized how racially rooted this country was until Dr. O’Malley made me aware of it in class. As a Muslim Palestinian I am quickly aware of racism that is directly related to my culture. This may be an issue in and of itself. I am quickly aware of the hatred imbued against my culture, but fail to realize the hatred towards others. I think all people, regardless of race, heritage, and culture, should be more empathetic and socially aware and embrace different selves, including myself.

I also think there is an issue with how I listen to music. Miller describes learning as a feelingful activity. He adds that by thoughtfully listening to music we should be able to embrace various “selves.” When I first listened to the State of Texas song, I really did not answer it. That is because I have not been disciplined in the “art” of listening to music. On day one of the class, I supported the notion that music should be a backdrop in our daily lives. Now I have to disagree with myself. In order to truly understand the essence of the music, to embrace the lyrics and the passion of the artist, I must listen thoughtfully. As I listen to Railroadin by Henry Thomas, I should embrace this shared experience of the Great Migration.


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