BATTERING THE “BLACK MYSTIQUE”
Whether in rhythm, dance, or singing, Black People’s Music is the most powerful catalyst for spiritual expression. Starting with Primitive Africans, Mysticism was associated with Shouts, Calls, Words, Clapping, Foot Stomping, and Body Movements. The reason is, says Dona Richards (in Asante, African Culture p224), doing it at a “soul” or “Being” level is to participate in Cosmic quintessential (purist) spiritual aspects. Enslaved Africans reconstructed musical instruments originated and played in Africa—e.g. the banjo, the balafone (xylophone), the musical bow, flutes, the elephant tusk type horn, a kind of bagpipe, types of clarinets, (dududen), trumpets made of wood and ivory, gongs, rattles, castanets, the quill or panpipes, the sansa or thumb piano, and the drum. European enslavers, fearing such music may reflect some type of a Black Mystique capable of inciting rebellions and plots, prohibited African song, instruments (especially the drums), and African languages. As is typical of Europeans in confusing everything about Black People, “Black’s Music” was declared evil. Still, its mystique led them to borrow and embrace it—despite considering Black People’s concept of “Soul” as “Mystique” because they could not conceive of what it was about—nor could they imitate it properly. But Europeans’ use of “Soul” was so loose (e.g. “Soul Mate” and “Soul Surfer”) that it became devoid of any deep or specific meaning. Meanwhile, by assuming “Negro Spirituals” to be essentially religious, European slavers permitted them without realizing its power as Black Mystique tools for conveying anti-European messages. Then, in slavery came Work Songs and The Blues. Post-slavery brought Gospel Music; Ragtime and Jazz in early C20; the Big Band, 1930s; Doo Wop vocal groups in the 1950s; and, in the 1960s, “Soul Music”–an extension of Gospel Music and Rhythm and Blues. Whites attributed Black People’s “Soul Music” to being derived from Super-Humanization—e.g. the attribution of Supernatural, extrasensory, and magic influencing or manipulating the Natural World through symbolic or ritualistic means.
In my view, whereas ones actual Selfhood Soul is Immaterial, ones Astral “Double” is a “Soul” counterpart—the one Black People associate with “Soul Music.” Compared with other ethnic groups, music experienced in the Astral Body is more prominent in Black People; has a more profound effect; and stems from a love of life (historically present in Black People). Europeans Super-humanization says Blacks are beyond human–as a distinct, “non-human” independent process that differs from Infra-Humanization and sub-human animals or objects. This is to deprive ‘Super-Blacks’ of human character and attributes–preventing Whites from having to compare themselves to or associate with Blacks. An obvious display of it was in slavery when White women believed Black People did not have pain or suffered any effects from their family members being sold away—either because they were Superhuman or Subhuman (implying Blacks as ‘non-full humans’, lacking the feelings of Whites). Such ignorant/evil Supernatural thinking of failing to recognize Blacks as capable of having pain justified exhibiting no empathy for their sufferings as well as the withholding of aid when Whites’ sadism caused the need for aid. Despite the hellish lives they were subjecting Blacks to, Whites were also “awed” by the Black Mystique Sippi Relationships—i.e. Blacks’ ongoing sharing of the same Spiritual space (i.e. Compassion). These were indicators of a special bond with those of fellow sufferers—whether on Middle Passage ships or on plantations or post-slavery.
The ‘Super-human’ sexual prowess envy (among others) White males had/have for Black males, were repeatedly dramatized by White males cutting off Black male’s genitals during lynching and placing them in the lynched person’s mouth. Furthermore, as a boy I was always impressed with how Europeans dealt with undeniably superior Black People—e.g. Joe Louis, Jesse Owens–as being “Super-Human”. One of many reasons for such a distinction has been to prevent struggling Black youth from believing they are capable of following in the footsteps of the “Super-human” Blacks. Throughout Black American history racists have ensured Super-Blacks “stay-in-their-place” by “Dehumanization” and terrorism while advertizing struggling Blacks. (Waytz, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2015). [This entire series is from Bailey, Stopping the Violence] jabaileymd.com