Tuesday, December 3, 2013

John Malveaux: Public Letter to Roslyn M. Brock, Chair, Board of Directors of NAACP

Arion 68093 (1990)

Albany Records Troy1430 (2013)

John Malveaux of www.MusicUNTOLD.com writes:


The NAACP Image Awards telecast does not present a category for Classical Music. The NAACP Image Awards telecast significantly contributes to a distorted media image of African Americans that denies our youth a picture of their full human potential and helps justify neglected recognition for many worthy living and working Classical Music artists. 

Music consists of three types: Folk, Popular, and Classical. While African American history and achievements are thoroughly documented and publicized in Popular and Folk Music, the opposite is true in the European tradition of Classical Music. An overwhelming majority of African Americans are mis-educated to believe Classical Music is ‘white music’ and they voluntarily exclude themselves from appreciation, participation, and benefits in a refined and cerebral segment of society. Ever since Le Chevalier de Saint Georges poised his violin to play at the Court of Louis XV1 in Eighteenth Century France, the African presence has been felt in the world of Classical Music. Most Americans, including the college educated, are unaware that around 1830 free and literate African American and mixed race musicians organized a Negro Philharmonic Society in New Orleans.
I am aware that Soprano Kathleen Battle received the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and Jessye Norman was honored at the 2013 National Convention. However, a sustained image of African Americans in Classical Music does not exist on terrestrial radio, newspaper, television, cable, or magazine. Afrocentric Sounds Radio, Afrocentric Voices Radio and www.AfriClassical.com website are sustaining internet resources for education and appreciation.
The foremost living and working American classical composer is George Theophilus Walker who, in 1996, became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in classical music. George Walker is 91 years of age. His 90th birthday was not formally celebrated by any American or African American organization or covered by African American media such as Ebony or Essence Magazine. Jim Svejda of KUSC Classical Radio 91.5 FM Radio or www.kusc.org on the Internet will interview George Walker for two hours, Thursday, December 5, 2013, at 9:00 PM (PST.
This is a request to add a category for Classical Music within the annual NAACP Image Awards telecast and to consider George Walker for an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award. Your earliest consideration will be greatly appreciated to benefit all of humanity. Please let me know if I may be helpful to this request.

John Malveaux

[Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) and George Walker (b. 1922) are featured at AfriClassical.com

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