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And my friends and I -- a minority's minority mushrooming with the current black bourgeoisie boom -- have inherited an open-ended, New Black Aesthetic from a few Seventies pioneers that shamelessly borrows and reassembles across both race and class lines.This muscley combination of zeal, Glasnost and talent is daily commanding ever-larger chunks of the American art worlds.The six members are a mongrel mix of classes and types and their political music sounds out this hybrid.Brothers Norwood Fisher and Fish used to bum free lunches from the Black Panthers' headquarters in East Los Angeles, Chris Dowd's father is both a Deep Purple fan and an engineer, "Special K" chose the band over Stanford.I didn't share them with him, one of my best friends.Just as a genetic mulatto is a black person of mixed parents who often can get along fine with his white grandparents, a cultural mulatto, educated by a multi-racial mix of cultures, can also navigate easily in the white world.Says Fish, "If it happens, it happens, [but] we're not changing our course." Like the rest of the NBA artists, however, Fishbone's course has frequently changed, crossed and flouted existing genres according to their own eclectic inspirations.When the band first started playing they covered art-rock songs by Rush and Pink Floyd.
Eddie Murphy, Prince and the Marsalis brothers are just the initial shock troops because now, in New York's East Village, Brooklyn's Fort Greene, Los Angeles and in Harlem, all us under-thirty only ones are coming together like so many twins separated at birth -- thrilled and soothed and strengthened in being finally reunited.I'm sure there were other kooky ethnic artists that were coming from the left but were discouraged.--August Darnell, "Kid Creole," 36, of Kid Creole and the Coconuts I grew up in the predominantly white, middle and working-class suburbs around Ann Arbor, Michigan and New Haven, Connecticut, while my mother and father worked their way through the University of Michigan and Yale.It was finally published first by Ishmael Reed and then in the journal Callaloo. The terms "New Black Aesthetic" and "cultural mulatto," touched a cultural nerve.I'm told that now it is required reading in many intro to African-American culture courses, if not the subject and title of the course itself, and was the subject of a week-long "New Black Aesthetic" festival at Harvard. THE NEW BLACK AESTHETIC By Trey Ellis Callaloo, 1989 While the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.
I now know that I'm not the only black person who sees the black aesthetic as so much more than just Africa and jazz.