The Blues, Black Pain, and Its Psychological Effect

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Lamont Jack Pearley


Why are we as Black folk so possessive of the Blues? Yes, we proved the argument that any other ethnicity doesn’t have to fight for their tradition or heritage. We all know that this music, culture and tradition was brought here during the Middle Passage and landed in the fields of the “New World”. We also know that the dialect, the rhythms and first recordings were of the Black diaspora. But what makes this so deep rooted for Black Folks, African Americans? Could it be the psychological trauma embedded in our DNA after such horrific conditions our forefathers and foremothers lived through?

Why does it sting so hard when someone says Eric Clapton kept the Blues alive…or Stevie Ray Vaughn is the best Blues guitarist… or Joe Bonamassa is holding the torch of the Blues. More specifically, why does it hurt Black folk so deeply? And let’s be clear, this is a two-way question. Because I heard many black folk say, “I don’t listen to no Blues..that’s slave music!” This to me, and I’m no doctor or therapist, sounds like a psychological issue that has never been resolved.

There are countless African American inventors who have no ownership or legal licensing for their creations. Yet their inventions changed the scope of the world.  The Massa, or White man, who owns the trademark or copyrights for the invention is still getting paid. In other words generational wealth. You wonder what that has to do with the Blues, and the psychological anguish felt among those of us that hold those traditions closely. Well most of those inventors were skilled musicians, intellectuals, writers and readers. Yet they own nothing they invented that made Euro History in the “New World”.

Which brings it back to the Blues. Traditional Griots passed down songs and stories, celebratory songs and songs of worship and hardship that weren’t meant for commercial sales have been corrupted by the descendants of those who own the rights of the other inventions. With that you get the Elvises or the Pat Boones, or the Eminems, leading to White wealth and more Black poverty. You hear a lot of people say we need to be economically empowered, or we need to produce things for ourselves, yet it seems to never be noticed that we are the biggest mass producers for someone else’s economy. Which leads back to “The Blues, Black Pain, and it’s Psychological Effect” on African Americans.

For those of you who follow my site and content, you are well aware that I share a lot of Dr. Joy Degruy’s works. She speaks about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Well, tonight I watched another strong sister that has a great platform. Yvette Carnell. And with all the discussion, and all the solutions that were brought to the table, there still remained a black cloud over tonight’s program…and it’s the fact that Black folk’s psyche have been beyond traumatized by our current treatment, as well as the history of the treatment of our people. Now I am a firm believer that we are the descendants of the sons and daughters of the Tribes of Israel…but that’s not today’s topic.

The topic at hand is, the Blues, Black pain and it’s psychological effect on us. is why we are more than possessive of our traditional music and documentations. A good friend and musician says that the Blues is the “Butt Nekked Truth,” and honestly that’s a deeper statement than it appears. Let’s break that down. The “Butt Nekked Truth” means the vulnerable truth. The truth some never wish to expose, however…bluesmen and women express their vulnerability through  this tradition. Furthermore, the “Butt Nekked Truth” is the truth of someone that has absolutely nothing but the skin on their bones. Now just let that sink in. Vulnerability and nothing but the skin on your bones…..together that makes a hell of truth!

Having nothing but those two things and the ability to express it through your passed down culture…all while being dehumanized….leads to the Blues, Black Pain and Its  Psychological Effect!

The psychological effects that we wear runs so deep, a caller on the program I listened to tonight pretty clearly and blatantly stated that Black folk needs to practice Eugenics. For those of you who don’t know, Eugenics is the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis. Now, they like to use the term Nazi, and say this was a system they implemented in Europe, but there is another Eugenics that we should be more concerned about…Which is the Eugenics created and put into action by Margaret Sanger which is called planned parenthood.

From an article in “”:  “In a 1921 article in the Birth Control Review, Sanger wrote, ‘The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.’ Reviewers of one of her
1919 articles interpreted her objectives as ‘More children from the fit, less from the unfit.’ Again, the question of who decides fitness is important, and it was an issue that Sanger only partly addressed. ‘The undeniably feeble minded should indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind,” she wrote.”

I know most don’t find Dr. Ben Carson credible, but I must share this:  Carson alleged in an interview with Fox News that Planned Parenthood puts most of its clinics in black neighborhoods to “control the population” and that its founder, Margaret Sanger, “was not particularly enamored with black people.”

Now, this article isn’t about Planned Parenthood, its benefits to women or anything like that. Nor is this article about abortion, and the right of a woman to have one….I brought up Margaret Sanger to give an example of how we as Black people are so desperate and psychologically tormented that a Black man would call into a show and propose that we do to our own what some of our people accused Margaret Sanger of doing, as well as what the Nazis were doing.

This is deep, and not a joke, and why those of us who live the traditions and hold dear to it feel a deep rooted pain when questioned about, or have to make a disclaimer when claiming our birthright. This is never about being divisive…This isn’t even about you, this is about the inner turmoil felt by Black Folk when debated or when someone attempts to debunk the fact that the Blues is and will always be…..Black pain and its psychological effect on an entire people…those who love the music and its traditions, and those who worked to run from it and have it eradicated.

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