By Denise Sullivan
The marriage of tune and social swap didn’t originate with the routine for civil rights and Black strength within the Fifties and Sixties, yet by no means prior to and not back used to be the connection among the 2 so dynamic. In Keep On Pushing, writer Denise Sullivan provides the voices of musician-activists from this pivotal period and the artists who of their footsteps to turn into the strength at the back of modern liberation tune. becoming a member of real voices with a bittersweet narrative protecting greater than fifty years of struggling with oppression via music, Keep On Pushing defines the soundtrack to revolution and the price the artists paid to create it.
Exclusive interviews with Yoko Ono, Richie Havens, Len Chandler, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Michael Franti, Solomon Burke, Wayne Kramer, John Sinclair, Phranc, plus musician-activist Elaine Brown at the Black Panthers, Nina Simone collaborator Al Schackman, Penelope Houston and Debora Iyall on San Francisco punk rock, Ed Pearl at the L.A. people scene and the Ash Grove, and different musical and political icons.
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Extra info for Keep On Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-hop
I replaced my identify that weekend. simply because my identify used to be Susan and everybody referred to as me Susie. I consistently hated that and that i by no means pointed out with the identify. On a whim and a mountaintop, I replaced my identify to Franc, just like the French franc. ” Returning domestic after camp, the metamorphosis from Franc to Phranc persevered to take form. “My hair was once all of the approach down my again . . . whilst I got here again I minimize all of it off. I went correct to Dante’s Barbershop—it’s nonetheless there. there has been this dyke there named Bootsie and he or she gave me a buzz lower. I went to teach my pal Punkin my new haircut and that i knocked on her door and he or she stated, “Who is it? ’ and that i stated ‘Franc’ and she or he opened the door and stated, ‘Franc! ’ Then she stated, ‘Wait one minute,’ and went within the different room and acquired a blue baseball cap with a P and she or he acknowledged, “Phranc— P-h-r-a-n-c” and so that’s how I received the Ph. ” just like the additionally singularly named Odetta in addition to freedom-singing sisters Nina Simone and Buffy Sainte-Marie, Phranc’s self-education in her tradition used to be a very important step within the construction of an id for herself as a singer, and hair used to be no small a part of that equation. She has worn her flat-top proudly ever considering. “Women are anticipated to seem a undeniable way,” she explains. “Cutting my hair gave me the liberty to turn into who I felt like, and who i wished to be. ” traditionally hair has been a robust solution to assert identification in society. simply because the hippies grew their hair lengthy as an adjunct to their nonconformist perspectives, Sainte-Marie wore her lengthy black hair directly, as is the customized of local girls and a few Asian ladies. instantly hair for Caucasian girls intended freedom from the tyranny of styling chores—curlers and updos, teasing and hairspray. For African American ladies, the query of average or straightening is a debate that has no finish. Nina Simone had taken a peek at hair concerns in her piece “Four girls” and naturally her own kind used to be continually 149 150 keep it up pushing evolving to extra adequately mirror who she was once turning into as an artist with Afrocentric pursuits. Activist Angela Davis was once recognized not just for her paintings, yet used to be recognizable principally by way of her glance, a tremendous Afro. Odetta, who cropped her hair shut within the fifties and enable it move common, believes she used to be one of the first to take action. She used to be encouraged through an interpretive dancer she observed within the fifties in l. a. who wore her hair usual whereas appearing a application of African lore. “I used to be speaking to her yet I couldn’t continue my eyes clear of her hair,” Odetta defined as she mentioned the politics of hair within the Nineteen Seventies with WBAI’s Celestine Ware. Then, the subsequent summer time i used to be a counselor at a camp of a few type and that i was once within the children’s convey and that i needed to preserve my hair immediately, forgive the pun, for the function at the weekends whilst I went into la. whilst that exhibit used to be complete, I received again to the camp and that i was once a counselor, correct, so I went into the cabin factor and the youngsters have been nonetheless up. So I acknowledged, “Okay, good so long as you’re up, lower my hair” they usually began getting scared, correct?