Music Roundtable Questions
Positive Music Matters
The Future of Black Music in the USA
– Should a conversation about our future—the destiny of the African American people in this land—include a wholesome discussion about our music?
– Just over 150 years since the Great Emancipation of 1863, are we, liberated sons and daughters of the Most High, aware of the enormous musical contribution of black musicians, singers and other performing artists to America and world popular culture?
– Are the children aware of the tremendous contributions and sacrifice made on their behalf by our forefathers to foster national pride and world progress?
– Have we established any means through which our very best music and art is preserved, protected and promoted for the edification of future generations?
– What is music? Can one distinguish or understand the true components of music and song: rhythms, harmony and melody?
– How would you define an “artist?” Who’s an artist? Is it the artists that take inspiration from his natural surroundings/environment as a bridge to reach for higher values; for something better?
– Moving forward, what is the ideal role of the artist, particularly as it relates to the community that has nurtured his or her natural talents
and gifts? Does the popular artist as spokesperson, have any obligation to his community of origin?
– In the Civil Rights era, there were the Soul Singers and the Songs of Freedom. Today, is it necessary for the contemporary artist to devote his music or songs to themes that to speak to unity, freedom, love, brotherhood, peace, goodwill, community/ cultural pride and progress? Morally, should the creative artist commit his or her art toward the advancement of the people?
– What about the community-building ideals of self-acceptance, self-reliance and self respect; could a positive music soundtrack reflect these values? Is it profitable to be a socially conscious artist?
– What is cultural literacy; what is music literacy?
– Ideally, is there a connection between art and spirituality?
– Can we distinguish between true art that endures or entertainment for the present; creativity and cleverness; the Spoken-word artist and the Rapper?
– Ideally, if you had it your way, how would you envision the music and songs of the future? What could we do today, right now, to make it better for tomorrow?
– What is the future of Hip-Hop? What will young people listen to 10-20 years from now?
– Does the promotion of music, songs or raps glorifying violence, misogamy, geed, selfishness, gluttony, slothfulness and idleness present quality-of-life issues in our communities today? Is it possible for
us to create an alternate space that celebrates the positive—the truth, beauty and goodness of a loving and gifted race? How do we get there?
– Does the future of our collective health, prosperity and happiness, depend upon the quality of our music? Does the quality of our thinking have anything to do with it? What can we do to insure the survival and safe-passage of values from this generation to the next?
– If as a people, we are to move forward, it will be through our own collective wisdom and comprehensive understanding of past and present events—our history. We must decide for ourselves, on our own terms, values to carry forward or those which must be left behind. From each as you, as you are, what are those values that affirm the dignity of our humanity through spoken-word, music and song?
– Does Positive Music really Matter?