Euro-American Appropriation

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Throughout weeks five through eight of our class it has become apparent that the early 1900s experienced a drastic amount of musical and athletic appropriation, which disproportionally affected African Americans. The role of whites in the suppression of black music and sports is substantial, yet blacks have been able to overcome this bigotry to a varying degree.
Both articles account for the Euro-American preference of white role models. Almost every white American craved to hear the unique rhythm that black musicians were able to produce. However, these very same white folks did not want to see the black face associated with such a rhythmic melody. Instead, they prefer a white musician to record the black musician’s song, fully aware
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In class we discussed the music shop owner who kept to himself that a poplar record was indeed sung by a black man, because no one would buy it if they found that out. This appropriation of black music is attributed to the black culture that the Euro American majority looked down upon. “In the course of this appropriation process, these people and their experiences, their connection to the aesthetics, have in essence become ‘invisible’ as the forms purport to become “color-blind’” (Hall 33). Similarly, the African American culture and identity had much to do with their brief stretches of inclusion and exclusion in the sporting world. White Americans did not want to see black athletes succeed in the field of sports. Although given some athletic opportunities from the Emancipation Proclamation up until World War I, this quickly ended with the dominance of jockey Isaac Murphy, who won three Kentucky Derby’s in the span of six years. This dominance in horse racing did not sit well with whites, so around World War I America enacted segregationist laws excluding blacks in almost all sports. Again, the majority of Americans desired to look up to a white role model, especially not a dominant black …show more content…
The days of the “field holler” and Duke Ellington forced to do radio in order to mask his racial identity are long gone. As we evolved as a nation, we went from hiding African American musical styles to bringing them to the forefront. In today’s society, we see an interesting spectacle occurring. Instead of the historically successful tactic of making the listener believe the singer is white, the opposite occurs. We discussed how Iggy Azalea intentionally tries to “sound black” to flourish in the mainstream musical industry. Today’s biggest hip-hop stars (Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne) are arguably entirely black, which makes young kids in America grow up idolizing black singers. This has a great impact on society as a whole; kids of all color look up to Lil Wayne and try to sound like him when they rap. Similarly, the American youth reveres Cam Newton and Stephen Curry. What’s interesting in both sports is a shift towards the unconventional style of play these two superstars have. Cam Newton’s impact and success in the NFL is palpable, as he jump-started the nation-wide dabbing craze. Now everyone who plays football at a young age wants to leap into the end zone and perform the Superman sign sprinkled with a few dabs. Similarly, Stephen Curry is evolving the game of basketball before our very eyes. The days of the Knicks and Heat

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