It's not every day that some of us get to freak out the squares.
You, dear reader, are probably not the type at all.
I do it just to see the look on their faces.
It's not hard to freak out a square.
Just get a little out of line and they will shake their heads in amazement that somebody would ignore a rule.
Well, dear reader, nobody is coming to give you freedom.
If you have any at all, it is because you took it.
Please stop recognizing any authority but your own.
Recently I attended two music concerts in one of our local parks that were billed as a combination of soul, rhythm and blues and blues.
The musicians were all white.
I am not going to argue that white people playing this kind of music is “cultural appropriation” and that they should not play it. There are wonderful white musicians historically and contemporarily who have played in all these musical forms.
What I am more interested in is the appearance of the band members.
Historically, music, like all the arts originally came out of sympathetic magical practices.
In preparation for a magical ritual, the participants had clothing made for them or they made the clothes themselves.
In addition, each participant had a very specific role.
The ritual was intended to draw a line in the sand and say “what is going on here is beyond everyday life and we have to look and dress accordingly.”
In western religion, singing in church was and is accompanied by a choir who had roles to play and dressed according to their role so they distinguished themselves from their audience.
Historically, when black musicians began to play secular music, they continued to carry forward the same things they did in church. They dressed for the occasion.
Their dance moves and the outfits were choreographed with the background singers dressed in the same color.
The lead singer would be dressed in a color that might be analogous or complimentary to the background singers.
If any of you remember the Temptations, the Miracles, or Gladys Knight and the Pips you know what I am talking about.
In the 50’s and the early 60’s the white Rock ‘n’ Rollers also dressed up for their performances: the groups Danny and the Juniors, Dion and the Belmonts both did this.