About the recording, I expect I know how it's going to be. When the list of contributors includes Alec Baldwin and James Carville it seems likely that it's not really about entertainment.
>It’s an interesting country. It inflicts pain on black people, denies that it inflicted pain, but then benefits from the soulful cry that arises from the pain.
I can't imagine living in an America without black music. It would be for me like living in a desert, but I also wonder what people would say if someone told Wynton Marsalis or Yo Yo Ma that they can't play classical. I'm guessing some people did tell Ray Charles that he couldn't play country, which he loved, and he did it anyway, but I don't think re-drawing those lines benefits anyone.
Same with visual arts. So many great black painters working in America today. Are we supposed to deny them access to the western art tradition? Sorry, Picasso and Matisse are for white guys.
It's hard to imagine a world without cultural exchange. It seems a huge part of what makes us human. I don't think people who write or speak about "cultural appropriation" want cultural exchange to end. I think it's more about questioning the terms under which the cultural exchange takes place. E.g., who has the power to begin with, is it a fair exchange.
>I also wonder what people would say if someone told Wynton Marsalis or Yo Yo Ma that they can't play classical.
Growing up as minorities in America, one supposes that Marsalis and Ma were told in ways subtle and unsubtle that they were less than. So playing classical music might be seen as a way of defying the prevailing and unjust expectations, rather than appropriation.
Realistic or not, there may also be an expectation that, if you benefit from a people's culture, you should be a proactive ally to said people when the chips are down. And pipe up even when it's not politically expedient to do so.
It was interesting to read in the article that
>the two black newspapers in Memphis at the time, both reported favorably on Presley, whom they saw as a kind of ally.
I wonder why.