top of page
music note


 1. Juneteenth is the celebration of the hard won and overdue end of slavery in the United States, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Bryan Stevenson argues, however, “[that] slavery doesn't end, it just evolves, and we had 100 years of terrorism and lynching and violence where black people were pulled out of their homes and beaten and murdered and drowned and tortured and lynched… We haven't confronted the fact that this presumption of dangerousness and guilt that gets assigned to black and brown people is still with us. It's why these police encounters with young black people that end up with lethal violence are so disruptive and so painful.” (Interview on WBUR, 2020)

2. Whiteness and white racialized identity refer to the way that white people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared.” (NMAAHC, accessed 14 June 2020) Whiteness and White Supremacy should not be conflated, but they depend upon and reinforce one another. For more information on whiteness as a mythical norm to which BBI don’t belong and can never assimilate, see Audre Lorde’s “An Open Letter to Mary Daly,” and “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” in Sister Outsider (1984). As Paul Kivel wrote in his 1996 book Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, "Racism is based on the concept of whiteness—a powerful fiction enforced by power and violence. Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white."

3. Race is a social construction invented by white colonizers in order to rationalize enslavement, genocide, and the looting of colonized lands. Although the acronym BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) has become a popular signifier for racial identity, we use BBI and BBIP to signify Black, Brown, and Indigenous people (Batislaong, 2020) in order to resist the further “othering” of racial identity in relationship to whiteness. The expression People of Color suggests a framework that places White people as those without color. Similarly, we use the term Black in place of African-American. (Singleton, 1997) Additional information available here.

4. For more on this, see, for example, Julia Eklund Koza’s 2008 article “Listening for Whiteness: Hearing Racial Politics in Undergraduate School Music” and John Perkins’s 2018 article “What is written on our choral welcome mats? Moving beyond performative culture toward a more just society.”

5. See, for example, William Cheng’s 2016 book, Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good, or Emily Howe, André de Quadros, Andrew Clark, and Kinh T. Vu’s chapter “The Tuning of the Music Educator: A Pedagogy of the Common Good for the Twenty-first Century” in Humane Education for the Common Good (ed. Iris M. Yob and Estelle R. Jorgensen, 2020).

6. Karma Chávez notes that “projects of inclusion don't rupture oppressive structures; instead they uphold and reinforce those structures by showing how they can be kinder and gentler and better without actually changing much at all.” Lisa Calvente’s notion of included-exclusion resonates here as well, that is “a consciousness of being included by your very exclusion where standards of inclusion do not apply even and, at times, especially when you perform assimilability.” (Chávez, 2015 and Calvente, 2010, as cited in Calvente, Calafell, and Chávez’s article, “Here is something you can’t understand: The suffocating whiteness of communication studies”)

7.  For additional resources on Anti-racist work, check out Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racist reading list originally printed in an essay in The Atlantic in February, 2019.   

8.  Intersectionality is a concept coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 that points to the ways that a person’s social and political identities might combine to create unique modes of discrimination. For more information on this concept, check out Jane Coaston’s 2019 article on Vox that summarizes and defines the framework and its history concisely. 

Anchor 1
Anchor 2
Anchor 3
Anchor 4
Anchor 5
Anchor 6
Anchor 7
Anchor 8
bottom of page