Rhiannon Giddens’ new solo album, Freedom Highway, is an exploration of African-American experiences, accompanied by an instrument with its own uniquely African-American story: the banjo.
Giddens notes that the modern banjo draws from the African instrument known as the akonting, which is made from a gourd. “In the first 100 years of its existence, the [American] banjo was known as a plantation instrument, as a black instrument,” she says.
Giddens says the banjo seemed like the perfect fit for her album, which includes songs based on slave narratives, as well as a song she wrote in response to police shootings of young black men.
“Getting into the banjo and discovering that it was an African-American instrument, it totally turned on its head my idea of American music — and then, through that, American history,” Giddens says.
[Brummie Saffiyah Khan confronts an EDL activist while a policeman holds him back. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA]
Female insouciance against fascism takes a special bravery. It signals to us that we all might be braver, that we can stand up and fight, that men who cannot tolerate difference cannot tolerate being laughed at either.
Khan’s no-nonsense attitude – that another woman should not be harassed – reminds us that solidarity rests on assuming power, not giving it away. We see both the possibility and dignity of resistance, the ability of one person to make a difference. Much of life isn’t full of heroics. We are often cowed by fear, by apathy, by the idea that nothing can ever change, that the bad people are in charge, that to intervene is to risk harm or to make any situation worse.
Khan’s small act of resistance then becomes larger, so welcome, so cheering, and so monumentally cool. Rosa Parks said: “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”
This is the joy of Khan’s fearlessness. Hands in her pockets, deeply unbothered by angry ranting men, her smile has spread far and wide because it is an image of undeniable strength and power. Glorious.
Suzanne Moore, In dark times, this image has a glorious message – resistance is not futile [The Guardian, April 10th, 2017]
Hi, I love your blog! Can you please post a list of the songs on the We playlist? My apple music isn't working and I need this music in my life!! (I found a list on a website but it doesn't have either of the songs that anon mentioned on it, so I guess it's not right? Or did G add more songs recently?) thanks!!!
Hi!ヽ༼☉ل͜☉༽ﾉ It seems like a tradition for new studyblrs to make an introductory post, I’m Rachel and I’m new to the studyblr community! I’ve been inspired to make one as motivation since I’ll be starting university in a bit (´･ω･`)
a little bit about myself:
- I’m 18 turning 19, and currently in the first year of university studying law
- I speak english, chinese, malay and japanese
- my favourite authors are Edogawa Ranpo, Giddens and Natsuo Kirino （＾－＾）(currently reading A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood)
I hope to be able to improve my study habits (ie. not slack off so much) as well as up my time management and organisation game ᕦ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ᕤ I also like how studyblrs come up with tips and advices for a lot of things and I actually find them really helpful! I am very excited to be joining the studyblr community so feel free to message me, like/reblog this post because I would love making new friends! (b^_^)b