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Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race Paperback – June 23, 2004
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Early in her study Mahon defines the term "cultural capital" as "knowledge, influence, and power based on cultural rather than economic resources." (42) This concept appears time and again throughout Mahon's work, and is especially highlighted by her interviewees who constantly refer to an increased emphasis on the importance and necessity for African American's to have the essence of blackness. Blackness is not solely defined by race, but also by persona - by style and poise, by culture and pride, by language and expression. Blackness does not have to include a passion for rap or hip-hop, and likewise does not have to exclude an interest in rock `n' roll. In fact, as Mahon reminds us, "Rock `n' roll's original architects were African Americans like Little Richard, Ruth Brown, Bo Diddley, Etta James, and Chuck Berry.Read more ›
And what is Black Rock? Mahon argues "white rock" is really Black as Black artists created this genre-she states that Elvis "borrowed his hip swivels and vocal delivery from black performers." (151) She also states that he succeeded because he "produced the appealing "Negro Sound and Negro Feel" while avoiding the baggage of actually being black" (150). And so Elvis played black music to white audiences and eventually this black music was associated with whites and has been associated with them ever since.
With the labeling of rock under white music, black rock groups have had difficulties in obtaining music contracts. The music industry doesn't want to sign Black rock bands, including black executives.Read more ›