Documentary ‘Rumble’ explores Native Americans’ influence on music

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, United States, Videos on 2017-08-02 00:39Z by Steven

Documentary ‘Rumble’ explores Native Americans’ influence on music

Christian Science Monitor

Peter Rainer, Film critic

Link Wray appears in the documentary ‘Rumble.’
Bruce Steinberg/Courtesy of Lorber

The alchemy of American music as it relates to Native Americans is such a voluminous subject that, inevitably, the fascinating “Rumble” can’t do it justice.

July 27, 2017 —In the fascinating documentary “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” the great jazz critic Gary Giddins says, “The one group that hasn’t really been investigated in terms of their contribution [to music history] is the Native Americans.”

This new film, co-directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, the former of whom previously co-directed the documentary “Reel Injun,” about Native American stereotypes in Hollywood movies, aims to rectify that omission. (Those who made the movie were inspired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture,” which was co-created by Stevie Salas, a veteran Apache guitarist, and Tim Johnson.)

Why was such an integral swath of musical culture neglected for so long, in a field where it seems as if every last bit of academic arcana has already been tilled?

One of the problems, as the film points out, is that, up until at least the 1960s, it was commercially even less advantageous to be an Indian (the term is often used throughout the movie) than an African-American. Native American singers, musicians, and songwriters did not announce their heritage (which was often of mixed blood). They “passed” as white, or in some cases, as solely African-American or Hispanic.

Robbie Robertson, the lead guitarist for the legendary group The Band, who grew up in Canada’s Six Nations Reserve, remembers a saying from the 1950s, when he was starting out: “Be proud you’re an Indian, but be careful who you tell.”…

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Passing: Intersections of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Class

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-08-02 00:19Z by Steven

Passing: Intersections of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Class

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
379 pages

Dana Christine Volk

Dissertation submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In ASPECT: Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought

African American Literature in the 20th century engaged many social and racial issues that mainstream white America marginalized during the pre-civil rights era through the use of rhetoric, setting, plot, narrative, and characterization. The use of passing fostered an outlet for many light-skinned men and women for inclusion. This trope also allowed for a closer investigation of the racial division in the United States during the 20th century. These issues included questions of the color line, or more specifically, how light-skinned men and women passed as white to obtain elevated economic and social status. Secondary issues in these earlier passing novels included gender and sexuality, raising questions as to whether these too existed as fixed identities in society. As such, the phenomenon of passing illustrates not just issues associated with the color line, but also social, economic, and gender structure within society. Human beings exist in a matrix, and as such, passing is not plausible if viewed solely as a process occurring within only one of these social constructs, but, rather, insists upon a viewpoint of an intersectional construct of social fluidity itself. This paper will re-theorize passing from a description solely concerning racial movements into a theory that explores passing as an intersectional understanding of gender, sexuality, race, and class. This paper will focus on contemporary cultural products (e.g., novels) of passing that challenge the traditional notion of passing and focus on an intersectional linkage between race, gender, sexuality, and class.

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