Black Talk

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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Sidran uses the comparison of oral vs. literate societies and I really liked the way that he used the comparisons. I follow where he is coming from when he talks about the oral man being "misunderstood," because the way that a literate man and the way that literate man communicate are often interpreted very differently. I think that sometimes it takes a community of oral men/women to understand one another and the same goes for the literate community. Like the slaves coming together and bonding through their oral communication. The slaves or the blacks were not very good readers and it is good that they could find bonding through activities like singing.

The black music enabled the African Americans to express themselves rather than having to write it down. In their every day speech they had to use circumlocution to get their point across and this was difficult for them.

Rhythm communication releasing tension and being compared to the act of sex puzzled me at first. I thought about it and realized that getting rid of all of the tension is a pleasurable experience. Having the white man encourage the black music to improve their work made both happy. The blacks were able to have some sort of social life. The rhythmic freedom moved to the church and was improvised. This culture of black music started to become its own religion.

The experiences of the black men reflected in the music. Charles Parker said, "Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." This is a statement that I totally agree with. The things that you sing about should be about your life and the things you have gone through in your life. Music should be important to your culture and reflect it as well.

I really enjoyed the part about the church and how much it meant to the black culture. I really have never been church kind of guy and reading about the spirit coming out through the black music really interested me. Whites even became more interested in the church but the blacks saw it as a way to get away from everything. I also think that the dancing and shouting in the church really brings out the most in church and is really cool.