Past Shows

Sun 09/18/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

Born Alain LeRoy Locke, September 13, 1886, in Philadelphia, PA; died June 9, 1954, in New York City; son of Pliny Ishmael (a teacher and postal clerk) and Mary Hawkins Locke (a schoolteacher). Education: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, B.A. 1907; Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, England, 1907-10, B.Litt 1910; graduate study, University of Berlin, Germany, 1910-11; Harvard University, Ph.D. in philosophy 1918. Politics: Republican. Religion: Episcopalian. Memberships: Member: American Negro Academy; American Philosophical Association; Associates in Negro Folk Education; International Institute of African Languages and Culture; League of American Writers; National Order of Honor and Merit (Haiti); Society for Historical Research; corresponding member Academie des Sciences Colonailes; honorary fellow Sociedad de Estudios Afro-Cubanos.

Career

Howard University, Washington, DC, assistant professor of education, 1912-17, professor of philosophy, 1917-54; Student Army Training Camp instructor, 1918; Harvard University, Austin teaching fellow, 1916-17; French Oriental Archaeological Society, Cairo, Egypt, research sabbatical,1924-25; Fisk University, Nashville, TN, exchange professor, 1927-28; Inter-American exchange professor in Haiti, 1943; visiting professor: University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1945-46; New School of Social Research, New York City, 1947; College of the City of New York, 1948.

Awards

Rhodes Scholar, 1907-10; Honor Roll of Race Relations, 1942.

Writings

  • Editor, The New Negro: An Interpretation, A. & C. Boni, 1925.
  • Editor with Montgomery Gregory, Plays of Negro Life: A Source-Book of Native American Drama, Harper, 1927.
  • Editor, Four Negro Poets, Simon & Schuster, 1927.
  • A Decade of Negro Self-Expression, 1928.
  • The Negro in America, American Library Association, 1933.
  • Frederick Douglass: A Biography of Anti-Slavery, 1935.
  • The Negro and His Music, Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936.
  • Negro Art: Past and Present, Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936.
  • Editor, The Negro in Art: A Pictorial Record of the Negro Artist and of the Negro Theme in Art, Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1940.
  • Editor with Bernhard J. Stern, When Peoples Meet: A Study in Race and Culture Contacts, Committee on Workshops, Progressive Education Association, 1942.
  • Le Role du Negre dans la Culture des Ameriques, Impr. de l'Etat, 1943.

Narrative Essay

Philosophy professor Alain Locke put forth the theory of "cultural pluralism," which values the uniqueness of different styles and values available within a democratic society.

The preeminent African American intellectual of his generation, Alain Locke was the leading promoter and interpreter of the artistic and cultural contributions of African Americans to American life. More than anyone else, he familiarized white Americans with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, while encouraging African American authors to set high artistic standards in their depiction of life. As a professor of philosophy, he expounded his theory of "cultural pluralism" that valued the uniqueness of different styles and values available within a democratic society.

Locke was born into a prominent Philadelphia family in 1886. His grandfather, Ishmael Locke, was a free African American and teacher. The Society of Friends (Quakers) sponsored his attending Cambridge University in England for further education, after which Ishmael spent four years in Liberia establishing schools. While in Africa, he married an African American educator engaged in similar work. Returning to the United States, he became headmaster of a school in Providence, Rhode Island, and then principal of the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia.

Alain's father, Pliny Locke, graduated from this institute in 1867, then taught mathematics there for two years before leaving to teach newly freed African Americans in North Carolina. In 1872, he enrolled in Howard University's law school while working as an accountant in the Freedmen's Bureau and the Freedmen's Bank and serving for a time as the private secretary for General O. O. Howard, the head of the Freedmen's Bureau. Completing law school in 1874, he returned to Philadelphia to become a clerk in the U.S. Post Office. Mary Hawkins, Alain's mother, was a descendant of Charles Shorter. A free African American, Shorter had been a soldier in the War of 1812 and helped to establish an educational tradition in his family. Mary continued this tradition by becoming a teacher.

Pliny Locke and Mary Hawkins were engaged for 16 years, not marrying until they were middle-aged. Alain, their only child, was born in 1886 and nurtured in an urbane, cultivated home environment. Six years later his father died, and his mother supported her son through teaching. Young Alain contracted rheumatic fever early in his childhood. The disease permanently damaged his heart and restricted his physical activities. In their place, he spent his time reading books and learning to play the piano and violin.

Locke attended Central High School, graduating second in the class of 1902, and then studied at the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy, where he moved up to first in his class. Entering Harvard University, he studied under William James and some of the other leading American philosophers on the faculty. Locke completed Harvard's four-year program in three, graduating magna cum laude in 1907, being elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and winning the school's most prestigious award, the Bowdoin Prize, for an essay in English.

It was a remarkable achievement for anyone, not to mention an African American during this highly segregated era. While many white American scholars were seeking to prove the intellectual inferiority of African Americans to justify racial segregation, Locke became a symbol of achievement and a powerful argument for offering African Americans equal opportunity at white educational institutions.

Continuing his intellectual accomplishments, Locke was named a Rhodes Scholar, the first African American chosen for this distinguished award, and sailed to England in 1907 to attend Oxford University. He studied philosophy, Greek, and Literae Humaniores, receiving a bachelor of literature degree in 1910. From Oxford he moved to Germany for advanced work in philosophy at the University of Berlin from 1910 to 1911.

Europe at that time was the acknowledged center of Western civilization, and Locke's years there proved vital to his intellectual development. His exposure to modern literature, music, art, and dance, along with his meeting many Africans and other nonwhites from around the world, created new perspectives for viewing American society and culture. Racial discrimination, he realized, was a global problem.



[View Playlist]
Sun 09/11/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

"Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone's head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children." - Amilcar Cabral, (September 12, 1924 – January 20, 1973)
". . . the hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal." Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967, "Why I Oppose the War In Vietnam"

 

 Photograph by Seydou Keïta



[View Playlist]
Sun 09/04/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

 Our guest this afternoon, on the 5 o'clock hour, bassist, composer and bandleader, Harley White, Jr. We will be discussing many of his most recent projects, including the upcoming 6th annual White Noise Festival, held at the Torch Club, Sept. 11, 2011, featuring an array of local and international jazz, blues, hiphop, poetry and new music talents.

 
Today's broadcast is dedicated to the memory of

Richard Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960)



[View Playlist]
Sun 08/28/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz


Our guest today on the 5 o'clock hour, Clayton Eshleman (pictured here), discussing his most recent work, in collaboration with A. James Arnold, Solar Throat Slashed, the unexpurgated 1948 edition of the masterwork by Aimé Césaire.

 


 

Soleil cou coupé (Solar Throat Slashed) is Aimé Césaire’s most explosive collection of poetry. Animistically dense, charged with eroticism and blasphemy, and imbued with an African and Vodun spirituality, this book takes the French surrealist adventure to new heights and depths. A Césaire poem is an intersection at which metaphoric traceries create historically aware nexuses of thought and experience, jagged solidarity, apocalyptic surgery, and solar dynamite. The original 1948 French edition of Soleil cou coupé has a dense magico-religious frame of reference. In the late 1950s, Césaire was increasingly politically focused and seeking a wider audience, when he, in effect, gelded the 1948 text—eliminating 31 of the 72 poems, and editing another 29. Until now, only the revised 1961 edition, called Cadastre, has been translated. The revised text lacks the radical originality of Soleil cou coupé. This Wesleyan edition presents all the original poems en face with the new English translations. Includes an introduction by A. James Arnold and notes by Clayton Eshleman.

“Not only do Eshleman and Arnold give us excellent translations of Césaire’s at times syntactically knotty, etymologically abstruse, and semantically bedeviling verse; they also contextualize the poems—with an introduction by Arnold and endnotes by Eshleman—with crucial historical information and lucid discussions of the complexities of the poems’ language.”Brent Hayes Edwards, author of The Practice of Diaspora

“Since Césaire first came into our view, he has seemed to some of us to be, with Breton and Artaud, one of the three truly unbounded poets of Surrealism—not so much lyrical, as with some other, more readily accessible poets (Eluard and Desnos the finest among them), but as Diderot had it over two centuries ago: the maker of a poetry that was and had to be ‘barbaric, vast and wild.’ It is the genius of the present gathering to rescue from previous editings and literary compromises the full force of Césaire’s remarkable 1948 work, Soleil cou coupé/Solar Throat Slashed. The result—in both the original French and in Eshleman’s and Arnold’s remarkable and no-holds-barred translation—is a reconstituted masterwork of the twentieth century and ample grist for the century to come.”Jerome Rothenberg, editor of Technicians of the Sacred

 



[View Playlist]
Sun 08/21/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz


Our guest today on the 5 o'clock hour, A. James Arnold, discussing his most recent work, in collaboration with Clayton Eshelman, Solar Throat Slashed, the unexpurgated 1948 edition of the masterwork by Aimé Césaire.

 

A. JAMES ARNOLD is an emeritus professor of French at the University of Virginia. He is the lead editor of Césaire's complete literary works in French (in progress) and author of Modernism and Negritude: The Poetry and Poetics of Aimé Césaire.

 

Soleil cou coupé (Solar Throat Slashed) is Aimé Césaire’s most explosive collection of poetry. Animistically dense, charged with eroticism and blasphemy, and imbued with an African and Vodun spirituality, this book takes the French surrealist adventure to new heights and depths. A Césaire poem is an intersection at which metaphoric traceries create historically aware nexuses of thought and experience, jagged solidarity, apocalyptic surgery, and solar dynamite. The original 1948 French edition of Soleil cou coupé has a dense magico-religious frame of reference. In the late 1950s, Césaire was increasingly politically focused and seeking a wider audience, when he, in effect, gelded the 1948 text—eliminating 31 of the 72 poems, and editing another 29. Until now, only the revised 1961 edition, called Cadastre, has been translated. The revised text lacks the radical originality of Soleil cou coupé. This Wesleyan edition presents all the original poems en face with the new English translations. Includes an introduction by A. James Arnold and notes by Clayton Eshleman.

“Not only do Eshleman and Arnold give us excellent translations of Césaire’s at times syntactically knotty, etymologically abstruse, and semantically bedeviling verse; they also contextualize the poems—with an introduction by Arnold and endnotes by Eshleman—with crucial historical information and lucid discussions of the complexities of the poems’ language.”Brent Hayes Edwards, author of The Practice of Diaspora

“Since Césaire first came into our view, he has seemed to some of us to be, with Breton and Artaud, one of the three truly unbounded poets of Surrealism—not so much lyrical, as with some other, more readily accessible poets (Eluard and Desnos the finest among them), but as Diderot had it over two centuries ago: the maker of a poetry that was and had to be ‘barbaric, vast and wild.’ It is the genius of the present gathering to rescue from previous editings and literary compromises the full force of Césaire’s remarkable 1948 work, Soleil cou coupé/Solar Throat Slashed. The result—in both the original French and in Eshleman’s and Arnold’s remarkable and no-holds-barred translation—is a reconstituted masterwork of the twentieth century and ample grist for the century to come.”Jerome Rothenberg, editor of Technicians of the Sacred

“BLUES”

Aguacero
beautiful musician
unclothed at the foot of a tree
amidst the lost harmonies
close to our defeated memories
amidst our hands of defeat
and peoples of a strength strange
we let our eyes hang
and native
loosing the leading-rein of a sorrow
we wept.

 





   


[View Playlist]
Sun 08/14/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

Our guest this afternoon on the 5 o'clock hour, Chris Carlsson, author, activist and most recently editor of the newly published collection of essays Ten Years That Shook the City

A collection of first-person and historical essays spans the tumultuous decade from 1968, the year of the San Francisco State College strike, to 1978 and the twin traumas of the Jonestown massacre and the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. This volume provides a broad look at the diverse ways those ten years shook the City and shaped the world we live in today. From community gardening to environmental justice, gay rights and other identity-based social movements, anti-gentrification efforts, neighborhood arts programs and more, many of the initiatives whose origins are described here have taken root and spread far beyond San Francisco.

"These bottom-up histories, written both by movement veterans and younger historians, provide a fascinating look at the ways people in a pivotal city shaped a pivotal decade. From hotel workers to cultural workers, college campuses to city streets, collective living to urban gardening, this book captures the sights, sounds and desires of a city in revolt. Its pages reveal the roots of our current struggles."
--Dan Berger, editor of The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism

"Militant urbanist and writer, Chris Carlsson, has brought together a brilliant collection of essays by historians and memoirists of a neglected decade that reveal the originality and solidity of social movements which, despite tragic failures, have guaranteed that San Francisco would maintain a utopian vision of what is possible. Each contribution is a jewel, storytelling at its best." --Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of A Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975

"What a vivid, well-written tour through the wide range of community struggles and movements in this most political of American cities." --Chester Hartman, City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco

"Ten Years That Shook The City cracks open our understanding of San Francisco's cultures and communities during one of the most formative yet under analyzed periods in recent history. It succeeds not only because it collects an amazing range of San Francisco voices reflecting on an awesome spectrum of topical issues between '68 to '78, but also because those voices speak to us in a compelling variety of forms. Its thoroughly edifying to sink into these grassroots San Francisco stories and discover a lively mix of personal memoir, ecological field guild, political-economy, deep neighborhood history, workers' struggles, visual study and more on issues as far reaching as radical Third Worldism, urban farming, rock concerts, garment workers, street posters, and comic books." --Sean Burns, author of the forthcoming biography Archie Green: The Making of a Working-Class Hero

"Ten Years That Shook the City is a brilliant palimpsest of a time and a place: San Francisco in a revolutionary decade that changed just about every part of the city and everything about how we live today. This magnificent collection brings together voices from the cutting edges of feminism, gay liberation, Latino and Asian mobilizations, environmentalism, community housing and more, and proves once again what an extraordinary city we have the good fortune to inherit." ---Richard Walker, Professor of Geography, University of California, and author of The Country in the City and The Conquest of Bread.

"Ten Years that Shook the City examines the early history of many of San Francisco's cultural treasures that provide the bedrock for today's social change efforts. Written by people who were active in building the everyday institutions we now take for granted, the collection examines the radical democratic ethos that still permeates the city's politics and cultural life. This is a vital resource, which provides the backstory for all of us who came to San Francisco because of its radical culture and politics." ---Dorothy Kidd, Professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco

"What did happen in the years following the storied 1960's? Did political and social activism die away, move to the country, or get co-opted by the mainstream? Clearly not, as detailed in this new book of essays, edited by local community activist and historian, Chris Carlsson. Primarily first-person accounts, each chapter is chock full of stories from the front lines, written by participants who organized, agitated, and created social change in the city well into the 1970s and beyond. Currents run together from the anti-war and labor movements, gay and women’s liberation, struggles against redevelopment and racism and towards the building of cooperatives, ecological awareness, and political art and culture. Gathered together, these snapshots of activism tell a powerful story, showing how the groundwork was laid for much of the progressive movement that still exists today in San Francisco. The lessons of continuity are strong, with the foundations of many of today’s institutions and organizations rooted in the radical political and cultural movements from this time period." ---Susan Goldstein, City Archivist, San Francisco Public Library

"For anyone who lived through San Francisco's greatest years, the 1960s and 1970s, this book is a treasure-house of reminders, information and perspectives on what happens when a community really AWAKENS politically, ecologically and socially. No-one has ever done a better job of capturing this than Chris Carlsson in this book. For those who were not here, settle down and learn what the 60s-70s cultural revolution in the city may teach us about how we should deal with a difficult future. This is great reading for anyone." ---Jerry Mander, author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and In the Absence of the Sacred



Justin Desmangles

Chair, Before Columbus Foundation

[View Playlist]
Sun 08/07/2011 3:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz
Now to talk to me about black studies as if it's something that concerned [only] black people is an utter denial. This is the history of Western Civilization. I can't see it otherwise. This is the history that black people and white people and all serious students of modern history of the world have to know. To say it's some kind of ethnic problem is a lot of nonsense. - C.L.R. James, (1969)
 
O-Jazz-O
by Bob Kaufman 
 

Where the string
At
some point,
Was umbilical jazz,
Or perhaps,
In memory,
A long lost bloody cross,
Buried in some steel cavalry.
In what time
For whom do we bleed,
Lost notes, from some jazzman's
Broken needle.
Musical tears from lost
Eyes.
Broken drumsticks, why?
Pitter patter, boom dropping
Bombs in the middle
Of my emotions
My father's sound
My mother's sound,
Is love,
Is life

 

 

 

 

pictured at right, Yves Tanguy, Dame a l'Absence, 1942



[View Playlist]
Sun 07/31/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

Desmangles



Let me bring some relief to my name,
famous for hiding runaway slaves
and future kings, sons of Europe,
whose marriage, arranged by Laveau,
brought stock to the fortunes of Creoles
and voodoo tyrants alike.

Let me display the roots and tethered vines,
the fetid swamp which covers this secret
with protoplasm, and basalt theory.
Wreckage from a promise kept,
beneath the fire of the fortaleza,
the villa of inquisitional escapees
mattering with Dahomey chiefs,
the ouster of Napoleon,
and the coinage of Négritude,
Césaire's notebooks, leaves
on the brackish ponds of my namesake.

And just below the freedom
of a million castles burned,
a slave masters whips drys
in the window of a museum,
near the blouse of my Corrina.

For a Bluesman's pluck and dash,
a railroad capsizes. The iron rails
of a ship going nowhere
in particular except home.

There, my swamp secret begins,
in the foliage of this poem.

The first breath
in a long song unsung.


[View Playlist]
Sun 07/24/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

Our guest this afternoon, on the the 5 o'clock hour, is poet David Meltzer, talking about his most recent book, When I Was A Poet, new from City Lights. Born in 1937, David Meltzer is a poet associated with both the Beat Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance. He was also included in Don Allen's seminal anthology, The New American Poetry. A child prodigy, Meltzer performed on the radio and TV in New York beginning in the late '40s. In 1957, after a few years in Los Angeles, where he was a part of the circle around Wallace Berman's Semina magazine, Meltzer moved to San Francisco, where he associated with such poets as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Spicer. One of the pioneers of jazz poetry readings, Meltzer formed a psychedelic folk-rock group, Serpent Power, with his late wife Tina and poet Clark Coolidge, recording for Vanguard records in the late '60's. He continues to perform with the music and poetry review, Rockpile. In addition to his many books of poetry, Meltzer published 10 erotic novels in the late '60s and early '70s, including the critically acclaimed Agency Trilogy, revisiting the genre in 1995 with Under. He has edited many anthologies, including San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets (City Lights, 2001).

A newly published report shows that the number of homeless children in Sacramento public schools has more than doubled in recent years, yet Mayor Kevin Johnson has issued no response whatsoever to this issue or the report itself. We must demand answers and accountability! Contact Mayor Johnson, and let him know he cannot ignore the homeless children of this city!
Demand answers and accountability!

 



[View Playlist]
Sun 07/17/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls...
Today I bring them back
Huge and transitory
And let them sail
Forever.

All those flowers that you never grew-
that you wanted to grow
The ones that were plowed under
ground in the mud-
Today I bring them back
And let you grow them
Forever.

All those wars and truces
Dancing down these years-
All in three flag swept days
Rejected meaning of God-

My body once covered with beauty
Is now a museum of betrayal.
This part remembered because of that one's touch
This part remembered for that one's kiss-
Today I bring it back
And let you live forever.

I breath a breathless I love you
And move you
Forever.

Remove the snake from Moses' arm...
And someday the Jewish queen will dance
Down the street with the dogs
And make every Jew
Her lover.

 

 

Bob Kaufman, poet. (from, The Ancient Rain)

 

Pictured here,

Betye Saar, Ragtime, 2005, mixed media box assemblage, 19" x 20" x 2"



[View Playlist]
Sun 07/10/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

Lee Morgan , one of the greatest trumpet players in the history of jazz, is celebrated today on New Day Jazz, along with the life and poetry of Margaret Walker.

"Margaret Walker is of the great creators and teachers of literature." - Amiri Baraka



[View Playlist]
Sun 07/03/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

PLEASE NOTE: MR. BARAKA HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO A LATER DATE

This week, on the 5 o'clock hour, poet, playwright, essayist, and activist, Amiri Baraka, returns to New Day Jazz to discuss the recent biography, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable.



[View Playlist]
Sun 06/26/2011 4:00pm
6:00pm
Justin Desmangles New Day Jazz

 

 

This afternoon, a special celebration of Aime Cesaire, honoring his birthday, June 26, 1913.

Also, a new essay by Cecil Brown, below. 

If Racism is Over, Why are Whites Still Kicking Me in the Ass?

Next week, Amiri Baraka reviews the new biography, Malcolm X, A Life Of Reinvention, by Manning Marable.

Painting by Romare Bearden, 16 Mill Hands Lunch Bucket



[View Playlist]