In this interview with the host of “Time Talks“, Gerald Horne goes from micro to macro, starting with the subjects that arise in Jazz & Justice, and moving on to the topics of “hip-hop, archives, DIY spaces, patriarchy, Direct Action, Charles Mingus, and current struggles.” His interviewer begins: “Dr. Horne, you’re from Saint Louis, and your younger brother is a Jazz musician and I believe in your neighborhood, Joseph Bowie, trumpeter, and Lester Bowie, were from your area. I was wondering if you could paint the picture of when jazz first entered your world and psyche.”
“Well yeah! Growing up on Dryden Avenue, the 41 hundred block of North Saint Louis, we were blessed to have as neighbors, the Bowie family. The patriarch of the family was actually a music teacher – if I’m not mistaken, he taught music at Sumner highschool…and he had these sons, both of them of course played the trombone, and he was about the age of my younger brother Marvin, who played the guitar…”
Around 12 minutes into the interview, the two start to discuss the role of musical instruments in uprisings for liberation, starting with a quote from Dr. Horne’s Jazz & Justice:
…when enslaved Africans in Barbados in 1675 were launching a revolt, the signal for launching was to be sent by trumpet. By 1688, authorities on this Caribbean island had declared illegal the ‘using or keeping of drums, horns or other loud instruments which may call together or give sign or notice to one another, for their wicked designs and purposes.'”
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Gerald Horne is author of The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in Seventeenth-Century North America and the Caribbean, Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, and Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic, all published by Monthly Review Press.