Afrofuturism class

I learned something in my Afrofuturism class today I never knew. Techno music, music that never captured my attention, music that a lot of white folks I knew growing up loved to dance to, is actually a genre created by black people in Detroit. In the 80’s too. Techno music beats are just too fast for my liking. I mean, I can dance to anything but still. However, I am proud of my people for creating it along with other music genres like gospel, blues, and jazz.The fact we’ve created enough kinds of music to choose from is a wonderful thing.
Prof. Tananarive Due displayed a slide giving the definition to Interest Convergence Theory. It’s “the theory that whites will only support minority rights if it’s in their interest to.” Now, now. That’s something to ponder. Could it, would it, is it true? It caused me to look at possible examples of this. Here’s one. When young white people in Oakland (and other black neighborhoods too) marched in the streets to protest the shooting of unarmed black men and boys killed by white police officers, was it in their best interest to do so? Did they gain something from it? Did these mainly young white liberals need to feel like our allies? Did they need to feel more at ease so they could return to the black communities they have gentrified and say—even if they don’t say, even if they do—“I’m a down with you, don’t you see? I marched for the injustice of so-and-so? It was a five mile journey, too! Man. High-five?” Would it help further if a sign reading “Justice for Trayvon” displayed in their windows, like a quasi-equivalent to the blood on the doors of people during the Passover? I wonder.
This week in class I also learned George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic was a barber who was asked by Motown to write songs for their artists. Interesting. Clinton and his crew have always been on another page. But they were always funky, always themselves—I mean, there’s a grown man-baby wearing a diaper with a pacifier in his mouth in the group. When I first saw the scene in the movie School Daze where one of the men pledging said, “Make my funk the P-funk, I wants to get funked up,” I just thought it was a funny line. One I would repeat often. I learned later, when I started to tune my playlists to funk that the line was actually from the Parliament’s song P-Funk. Being in this Afrofuturism class gives me some background I never knew, about artists I always enjoyed.

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