June, for sometime now, has been donned Black Music Month. And I think I’m beginning to hate that. I might even hate the idea of “black” anything - sorry, Lupe. I suppose it’s sometimes necessary, semantically, to distinguish African-Americans as a subculture in a larger space. But it’s a fine line to walk, as there’s a huge risk of marginalizing people that embody more than one set of ideals (or in this case, sounds). It’s also worth questioning what the inverse of labeling something “Black” means. Is White culture (if a thing exists) the default? Such logic would imply that only people of color have cultures, and white people are just, well… people.
Again, I understand the impetus behind recognizing minority achievement. But in respect to music, it’s completely misplaced. In a society where so much is already racially tinged, it’s nice to have a caveat of…colorblindness? I don’t exactly have a term for it, but music is universal; transcendental. It’s unfortunate that so many box themselves in (and trust me, they do - I was one of them) because of presumptions about what’s “black”. But isn’t that to be expected when you constantly have the BETs, urban radio and yes - black music months - shoved down your throat?
Ironically enough, the largest consumers of so-called musica de negro?