Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nationwide Jazz School
Protests Seen as First
Chance to Legally Reverse
White Co-Opting of Black

-- University of Toledo to serve as ground zero for the
movement's launch --

Black Jazz News Staff

After recent months of online controversy, a least likely candidate,
Jazz, is quickly becoming a flashpoint for the sore subject of Black
culture being co-opted and profited from by White artists and industry.

Just Google 'White co-opting or appropriation of Black culture' and it
becomes apparent just how extensive the subject has been opined

But until now, the complaints have been just that, complaints...with no
concrete recourse for correcting any aspect of the problem. That is
The Black Jazz Whiteout Countermovement breaks new

The organization (called '
Black Jazz Whiteout' for short) founded by
Giant Steps TV Show and New York Jazz Film Festival creator and
former Duke Ellington Orchestra and Broadway trombonist, Gregory
Charles Royal, has found a niche- changing the law.

"In the discipline of jazz, we have found that 90% of hires at the
nation's state colleges and universities are White. This
systemic racism is a slap in the face for our people whose culture was
not only stripped away during slavery but who clawed back and
created one of the greatest art forms, Jazz, the world has ever known",
says Royal.

Jazz music has laid the foundation for other Black music the world
enjoys today including Rock and Roll, R&B and Hip Hop.

Royal continues, "This music is a protected Black American treasure
to the extent that state law can mandate that its hiring practices in jazz
education, actually reflect this indigenous circumstance. I do not
believe any reasonable person can allow 90% White employment to
stand."  (Click
here for a partial list of school's employment breakdown)

Black Jazz Whiteout believes that hiring in jazz education is the first
discipline that provides no wiggle room or excuses for the White
establishment to escape. It is not affirmative action - as many of the
greatest performers throughout history and today are Black. There is
an ample pool of African American graduates over the past decade
from universities with degrees in Jazz Studies.  However, the
organization does believe that certain post graduate degree
requirements and policies which often exclude many qualified Black
artists and educators, even with undergraduate degrees, should be
temporarily rolled back until an equilibrium has been established.

The first organized protest will kick off at The University of Toledo
during the week of March, 25th, 2018. Artists and educators
interested in speaking or appearing on a panel should contact BJWC
by emailing

Visit BJWC on Facebook
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