Tear down the walls : white radicalism and black power in 1960s rock /

Publication Type:



University of Chicago Press,, Chicago, United States, p.1 online resource (225 pages) : (2021)



Call Number:





(OCoLC)fst00833747, (OCoLC)fst01030486, (OCoLC)fst01099204, (OCoLC)fst01099230, 1961-1970, 20th century., bisacsh, Black power, Black power., fast, History, History and criticism., MUSIC / General., Music and race, Music and race., Rock music, Rock music., Social aspects, Social aspects., United States


Includes bibliographical references and index.Honkie soul : the MC5 at the Democratic National Convention : Lincoln Park, Chicago, August 25, 1968 -- Blue eyes and a black face : Jefferson Airplane and the rock revolution : The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (CBS-TV), November 10, 1968 -- One plus one : Jean-Luc Godard meets the Rolling Stones : London Film Festival, November 29, 1968 -- The seats belong to the people : the battle of the Fillmore East : Lower East Side, Manhattan, December 26, 1968 -- Declare the nation into being : Woodstock and the movement : Woodstock Music & Art Fair, White Lake, NY, August 15-18, 1969."Rock and roll's most iconic, not to mention wealthy, pioneers are overwhelmingly white, despite their great indebtedness to black musical innovators. Many of these pioneers were insensitive at best and exploitative at worst when it came to the black art that inspired them. Tear Down the Walls is about a different cadre of white rock musicians and activists, those who tried to tear down walls separating musical genres and racial identities during the late 1960s. Their attempts were often naïve, misguided, or arrogant, but they could also reflect genuine engagement with African American music and culture and sincere investment in anti-racist politics. Burke considers this question by recounting five dramatic incidents that took place between August 1968 and August 1969, including Jefferson Airplane's performance with Grace Slick in blackface on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Jean-Luc Godard's 1968 film, Sympathy for the Devil, featuring the Rolling Stones and Black Power rhetoric, and the White Panther Party at Woodstock. Each story sheds light on a significant but overlooked facet of 1960s rock-white musicians and audiences casting themselves as political revolutionaries by enacting a romanticized vision of African American identity. These radical white rock musicians believed that performing and adapting black music could contribute to what in the Black Lives Matter era is sometimes called "white allyship." This book explores their efforts and asks what lessons can be learned from them. As white musicians and activists today still attempt to find ethical, respectful approaches to racial politics, the challenges and victories of the 1960s can provide both inspiration and a sense of perspective."--Online resource; title from digital title page (EBSCOhost, viewed August 6, 2021).