PRELUDE TO OVERSTANDING
THE ELEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND DISPELLING LIES AND MYTHS
19 O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.
20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?
21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The Lord.
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The aim of this project is to use the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Hip Hop in 2023 to highlight Hip Hop as a true American artform and to seek its recognition as a world culture. To achieve this goal the project implementsthree techniques that conceptualizes Hip Hop as an artform that is culturally nestled with the historical development of the classical American music of Jazz because both music arts were purposefully formulated by creative agents as expressions of dance music. The first methodology is to conduct acomparative analysis of the formation and elements of Jazz and Hip Hop.
Secondly, the project engages in ahistorical analysis which is centered on the assumption that Hip Hop, as well as Jazz are creative expressions of a cumulative culture which had its ethnogenesis in the enslavement period and Reconstruction Era of the United States. This culture is most often referred to as the “Black American experience,” but in the late 1800s and early 1900s,during the birth of Jazz, it was collectively called the “New Negro Movement” although the term had duplicitous meanings. The project documents the existence of the social movements associated with each music art.
Lastly, the project sets forth a conceptual framework for the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee which includes a social marketing campaign for the U.S. Congress to enact the National Hip Hop Preservation Act, as well as, a research project to document the historical progression of Hip Hop’s development as an artform within a sociocultural context which includes the American classical music of Jazz and to gain recognition for Hip Hop as a world culture. In addition, virtual and traveling museums that illustrate the artforms and research areas through interactive displays and guest speakers and performers are conceptualized.
Just as Jazz dominated the cultural scene of the early decades of the twentieth century; Hip Hop music and culture had commanding influence in the latter decades of that century. During Hip Hop’s Golden Jubilee, it is imperative to document its development as an American artform, recognize its dissemination as a world culture, and acknowledge the presence of the Hip Hop Diaspora.
Section I. Comparison of Jazz and Hip Hop as True American Artforms: An Historical Foundation
Synthesisand Syncopation- Improvisation and Innovation: The Origins of Jazz
1. Ethnogenesis of a people and the forging of a culture
This is an ethnocentric perspective of the origins of Jazz as a cultural product of Black America. It begins with an anthropological examination of the ethnogenesis of the people who self-identify as Black or African Americans. This identification is based on a sociological view of shared cultural, religious beliefs, social and economic experiences, languages, and physical environment. This self-identification is separate from race, heritage, tribal or national origins, and indigenous or autochthonous status in the Americas.
Ethnogenesis is the process by which diverse groups of people become a distinct ethnic group. Several interrelated factors have influenced the making of Black America. These factors centered on European interactions with the world during the Age of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery which governs European policy and action comprises the Romanus Pontifex (Papal Bullsof 1436 and 1455), Dum Diversas (Papal Bull of June 18, 1452) and InterCaetera (Papal Bull of May 4, 1493). The doctrines can be summed in the papal mandate that urges the Portuguese prince and thereby other European countries
“…to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself [Portuguese prince] and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions,
possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit.”
Prince Henry of Portugal, Grand Master of the Military Order of Christ(Knights Templar)
Nowhere in the Americas was this process more evident than in New Orleans. New Orleans was a geographic point of ethnogenesis. It was the epicenter where there was the blending of European,indigenous, and autochthonous American, African, and Asian peoples. Creole culture of New Orleans wasinfluenced by the French and Spanish cultures of the Southern region of the
U.S. When the Haitian Revolution began1n 1791, thousands of French Creoles came to Louisiana. The Spanish cultures included persons from theSpanish and Portuguese colonial empires including Islenos from the Canary Islands. These refugees left SaintDomingue and went to Cuba and later to New Orleans. The United States purchased the LouisianaTerritory from France in 1803. Between1809 and 1810 more than 10,000 mostly French refugees left the West Indies and settled in New Orleans and nearby plantations. This included about 3,000 Black Creoles, freed slaves. The free people of color that arrived from Haiti resided in the existing French Quarter. New Orleans was a melting pot of cultural expressions in language,religious beliefs, food, fashion, music, song, and dance. This gave it a uniquely cosmopolitan worldview. This melting pot of cultura lexpressions was known as Creole culture. Jazz originated in the Creole culture of New Orleans.
The ending of slavery throughout the Western Hemisphere allowed Blacks and indigenous Americans the freedom of movement within the Americas. The New Orleans to Havana ferry was a gateway for economic and cultural exchangebetween the United States and the Caribbean and Latin America. New Orleans was the pathway for former slaves and free people of color throughout the Americas to migrate into the American heartland and West. In the wake of the Spanish American War of 1898, it was thought that Cuba and Puerto Rico would become Black Republics in the Americas like Haiti. Before European and Asian migration to Latin America in the 20th century, the countries had significant Black population. The U.S. appointed Blacks representatives to U.S.
embassies and consulates in several Caribbean and Latin American countries, as well as in Africa such as Madagascar. While the United States was increasingly becoming legally segregated in the early 1900s, West Indians, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans began to migrate to New York City rather that New Orleans. Overtime, this would have great implications for the development of Latin Jazz and later Hip Hop.
This was the period and atmosphere in which Jazz was conceived in New Orleans and Southern Louisiana, in which a diversity of people exists with a shared heritage. It was the center for a rich world culture. That culture became known as Jazz. From New Orleans, Jazz spread across the country and disseminated back into Cuba, the West Indies, and Latin America. In this era a diversity of people existed. They were forging a culture out of their lifestyles and their heritage. Those people created a world heritage that became known as Jazz and Hip Hop.