Fetishizing Black American Music

In the age of information channels that require no qualifications to reach millions, college juries where young jazz musicians are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, and mass exportation and exploitation of black culture, Amiri Baraka’s essay, “Jazz and the White Critic” on the faults and arrogance of white criticism of jazz music has been utterly ignored. He writes about the futility of traditional musicology when evaluating “Negro music” and the arrogance of the white critic in telling a young black musician that what he/she is doing is wrong. Upon reading examples of statements made by white critics on the absurdity of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane as an emissary of “anti-jazz”, I began to wonder about how much of an effect these flagrant statements really had on the imagination of the American people. Whose approval really matters and to whom?