You know it’s getting getting getting kinda hectic (Snap/The Power for us old skul types) when you are prepping for a new course called “Race and Music in the UK”, your first for your university’s Alabama at Oxford study abroad program, and a pile of books to be considered keeps getting taller and taller.
How do we find meaning in the cross fertilization of music across the pond since WWII? Motown in London. Beatles in Motown. Paul and MJ? Hendrix and Marley in London. The messy metropole. And so on.
The course is receiving inspiration tho’ from the soundtrack of my early adult years (late 80s-90s) when you didn’t know music was British until you heard the singer open his or her mouth (Sade, Loose Ends, Soul II Soul, Lisa Stansfield, Swing Out Sister, Incognito etc). This happened earlier in the postwar period, but I am quite curious about how this happens amid rising conservative thinking in the UK and the United States as revealed in the politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
And what is British when the diaspora is in many places, inspiring and receiving inspiration? While everything from the blues to reggae, rock, pop and jazz will figure in, it’s a Soul thing.
How do we end up with a Dusty Springfield and yes, an Adele?
Much work ahead as I recast an existing class, but I’m up for the challenge. Love talking to my colleague-husband, too, as he’s done Brit Pop in Oxford for years. He already wants to guest lecture and take over.
PS And yes, I get another glimpse at cross-fertilization of cultures across the pond before the Second World War tomorrow in my “American Civilization Since 1865” class. Roll Tide!