Diversity and Inclusion Racket

ChandraDiversity and Inclusion Racket Rules

By Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein [https://theriveter.co]

#1: If you have to choose between supporting a Black woman and supporting a white (male) ally you feel has been supportive of Black women, definitely blackball the Black woman because diversity and inclusion is about supporting allies.

#2: Allies always deserve awards and cake and cookies.

#3: It’s important to persist in saying “women and minorities” as if someone can’t be both. In relation, regularly point out that there are increasing numbers of women at your conference without ever noting that almost all of them are white.

#4: Use “intersectionality” a lot but never read Kimberlé Crenshaw’s papers.

#5: Say that you can’t challenge inappropriate behavior because the person engaging in it is a person of color, so you just have to watch terrible things happen and can’t step in.

#6: If you’re white, intentions are all that matter. If you’re not white, what matters is how you make white colleagues feel.

#7: When a white woman cries, it is sad. It’s too bad they’re so emotional but you just have to be sensitive. Black women having any kind of feelings is an overreaction, however.

#8: Pretend like Black, Indigenous, and POC (BIPOC) men don’t (sexually) harass Black, Indigenous and other women of color/nonbinary people and like we’re all one giant monolith.

#9: Treat “underrepresented minority” like it is a racial monolith. Never think through what it means when you categorize white Spaniards as people of color. Assume that Indigenous people and non-Black people of color are never anti-Black.

#10: It is always better to publish more (mediocre) papers than to make room for Black and Indigenous women to thrive, so always choose the white candidate with more traditional qualifications, even if your workplace is desperately white.

#11: Always assume Black women and other POC are not disabled. Assume all the disabled people are white. Also, assume disabled people are just being difficult when they ask for what they need and are entitled to, but also make sure to regularly say that inclusion and access matter a lot.

#12: Assume that you can just hire women from other countries to address your department’s diversity issues. If you’re international, complain that domestic people of color complain too much, and don’t work hard enough.

#13: Assume women from other countries don’t need support confronting racism, xenophobia, and sexism because America is great.

#14: Talk a good diversity, inclusion and equity game but also never report the racist and sexist comments you hear during hiring discussions to your affirmative action office or literally anyone who might do something.

#15: Give props (awards, cookies, cake, parties) to white people who do diversity work and question the basic competence and time management skills of everyone else who does it (especially if they seem better at it than your local white award winners).

#16: Diversity is important but not at the expense of excellence. Tell that to students of color wondering why their professors are all white. Tell that to the scholars you could be hiring to teach those students, if only they were excellent enough. Also remember that diversity of thought is important, which is why we value those who seek to debate the value of people of color and Indigenous humanity and cultures.

#17: It is totally fine to take in a Black mentee that you treat like a pet you saved from euthanasia, but please don’t do anything radical like put up a sign saying your student’s life matters. Anti-racism and diversity do not go together.

#18: Exploit strategic disagreements between Black/Indigenous/people of color (BIPOC). Exploit them for your own professional gain if you can! Especially if you are BIPOC: make sure you are the only one who gets through the door.

#19: Threaten white people who are being good accomplices to BIPOC with professional ruin. If you can, refer to them as, “witch hunters!”

#20: Publicly state that you want a diverse applicant pool, heavily recruit BIPOC candidates, take up their time with interviews, and never tell them there’s no way the decision-makers see them as anything but a checkbox for the higher-ups. Hire a white guy.

#21: Assume that BIPOC with less prestigious institutional affiliations and professional accomplishments are individual failures, not people who might do well given the right circumstances. Assume those with lots of prestige didn’t earn it.

#22: This one is very popular: Organize diversity fellowships and hiring programs with very little buy-in from the people who make the final hiring decision. Do nothing to incentivize buy-in from those people. Wonder and/or don’t care why the program fails.

#23: If you’re a white queer man, demand access to programs designed to encourage people of color and white women’s participation in your area of work. Forget to pretend that you care about non-binary people. Think only of yourself.

#24: Only hire BIPOC people who have secured lasting success somewhere else. Why increase overall numbers nationally when you can cheaply change your local numbers? Don’t give new voices a chance — they’re risky and too activist.

#25: Never ever talk about colorism. You don’t even see color!!!

#26: Completely depend on intellectual work coming out of ethnic studies and feminist studies programs that shape social science research on diversity. Do nothing to support these programs when they are attacked by the press and politicians.

#27: There is nothing more dangerous than a woman or non-binary (enby) person of color who knows what they are about and refuses to sell themselves to you. Literally, they are very dangerous. Shut them down.

#28: If you must stop a person of color from doing something harmful, do it in the most damaging way possible. Treating people like they are disposable is the best way to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable world.

#29: Use “decolonization” and “diversity” interchangeably. Call Black people settlers. (Finally, something where white people and Black people are equally at fault!)

#30: If you’re a university leader, hire a VP for diversity, equity, and inclusion when students ask for more BIPOC tenure track faculty. If the new hire is a white man, tell students of color who complain that they are racist. If they are a BIPOC, give them very little institutional power.

#31: If you’re going to hire Black people, only hire Black men. Remember, it’s about “women and minorities.” All the Blacks are men. Ignore the trail of sexual misconduct stories following him around because Black men have it hard, and Black women aren’t even on your radar. Besides, he’s Black, what else do you expect from him?

#32: Make sure to always talk to Black people about their tone. Until they sort out their tone, white people can’t stop being racist. That’s how that works. When Black people cater to white people’s emotional well-being, white people will start treating Black people like they are equals.

#33: Assume BIPOC want to do diversity work and are competent to mentor other BIPOC. Never mind that BIPOC who get through the door have often been selected for their ability to mimic the ways of white academics.

#34: Extract work from Black women and enbies. Then extract some more. Then some more. Then some more. Note with curiosity that Black women academics seem to die young/lose their minds. Ask the local Black woman/enby to explain how to fix this.

#35: Say you support a woman of color, you’re a big fan in fact, but also remember that her tweets come on too strong in your view. Make a point of excluding her from conferences and other events, thereby validating all of her angry tweets.

#36: If you’re white, only listen to BIPOC that you’re friends with or who make you comfortable.

#37: Start a Diversity and Inclusion business, take ideas from Black women and never credit them, privately gossip about how those Black women are a problem because of their tone and attitude. Build your business around saying you are a pro-Black woman.

#38: Reading is not fundamental. Anyone who believes they care about diversity, equity and inclusion can be a leader on diversity and inclusion.

#39: Ignore the fact that Asia is a giant umbrella with over 50 ethnicities and national identities. Also, don’t bother specifying Asian-American when that’s what you mean. Always just say “Asians.”

#40: Because some Asian ethnic groups are overrepresented or fairly represented in science, act like they all are. I mean, is the difference between Hmong and Taiwanese even important?

#41: Once you have a token BIPOC, preferably a woman and/or femme, to shut down the radicals, consider your work done for the decade.

#42: The BIPOC who agrees with you is the good one.

#43: Never go beyond the bare minimum of what the ADA requires. Like jeez, most of the time people don’t even respect the ADA, so you’re pretty cool.

#44: It doesn’t matter whether the Native American you hired is in good relations with their community. All that matters is that they checked a box, and now you get to check one too! It also doesn’t really matter if you ever learn anything about the tribal communities that are local to you.

#45: Instead of hiring minoritized tenure track faculty who are competent at mentoring marginalized students at your university, only hire lower-income full-time staff who have no hope of job stability at your institution.

#46: Proclaim poverty in the face of an endowment that is only $300 million. Say you’d stop hiring only white faculty if you just had $1 billion instead.

#47: Admonish minoritized people who, after years of begging for institutional support, organize wildly successful events without institutional buy-in. They should have let you get credit for their hard work and success!

#48: If they can’t beat you, pressure them into joining you. Institutionalize critics with new, powerless administrative roles, ASAP. Then when things are still overall terrible, you can blame that person and say it was all the POC’s idea.

#49: Organize events on diversity, intersectionality, and decolonization. Confine abstract submission to “practical” suggestions that don’t disrupt the status quo. Select participants by computer, because expertise and investment don’t matter.

#50: Act like America hasn’t always been racist. Act like America isn’t a settler colonial nation. Act like Native American sovereignty is just a matter of inclusion.

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. Find her on Twitter @IBJIYONGI and the web: http://profcpw.com.

 

Honors and Progress

Throughout the years, several people and organizations have felt me worthy of being honored. Those moments are documented here.

jc-peaceaward
Priscilla Dames (right) of Wingspan Seminars in Miami, FL nominated
Joan Cartwright  for the 2011 Pea’ce Award.

Thanks to Howard Mandel and Laurie Dapice for honoring me as a 2019 Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) Jazz Hero.

Thanks to Brian Zimmerman, Digital Editor of Jazziz Magazine for presenting the award. Thanks to Marika Guyton for organizing the award ceremony. Photos: Gregory Reed

Thanks to Old Dillard Foundation for partnering with Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. for this program

The universe provides. Last week I got the news that the Speech class I taught for 3 years is moving online, leaving me without income in June-July. I cried. I felt helpless. However, as things always go, I have the opportunity to teach 3 classes at PBSC in Palm Beach Gardens, starting May 15, through the summer.

pbsc

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Subscribe, today!

MWM cover19

https://musicwomanmagazine.wordpress.com

www.wijsf.org

No work for Black PhD Women

In July 2017, I completed my Doctorate in Business Administration/Marketing. I had been teaching Speech Communication since February 2016. I am still there. However, I only teach this class every four months and this does not sustain me. I had been teaching at Keiser University in Pembroke Pines but that was a commute of 100 miles per day, three days a week, and my car finally broke down. This commute cost me $250 in gas and tolls per month and the university did not reimburse me for those funds.

In the past three years, I have submitted hundreds of applications to schools in Florida like FAU, Palm Beach State College, Miami-Dade College, Strayer College, Lynn University, Broward College, and others. I had one interview in 2016, and nothing since then.

In actuality, very little has changed. White women continue to dominate the employment rolls. Black women are rarely seen waitressing, as airline stewardesses, on corporate boards, or as professors in the academy. 

 

Last week, I found this article that explains why I am not getting hired to teach:

In fall 2016, of the 1.5 million faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, 53 percent were full time and 47 percent were part-time. Faculty included professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, assisting professors, adjunct professors, and interim professors.

Of all full-time faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2016, 41 percent were White males; 35 percent were White females; 6 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males; 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females; 3 percent each were Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males; and 2 percent were Hispanic females.1 Those who were American Indian/Alaska Native and those who were of Two or more races each made up 1 percent or less of full-time faculty in these institutions.

The racial, ethnic, and sex distribution of faculty varied by academic rank. For example, among full-time professors, [82% were white] 55 percent were White males, 27 percent were White females, 7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males, and 3 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females. Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males each accounted for 2 percent of full-time professors. Source: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=61

A study by UCLA rendered statistics about equity and diversity of Blacks in the academy and yielded the following numbers for the State of Florida.

florida black students and faculty report

[Source]

This reported showed that “For every full-time Black faculty member at a public college or university, there are 42 full-time, degree-seeking Black undergraduates. Forty
institutions employ no full-time Black instructors. On 44% of public campuses, there are 10 or fewer full-time Black faculty members across all ranks and academic fields.” [Source]

My conclusion is that I need to find some other women of color with doctorates who have been unable to obtain employment. The travesty is that African-American women are the most educated group in the USA but are only 2-3% of teachers in the academy. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to repay but cannot get jobs with good salaries to pay off our debts.

Colleges and universities (in class or online) have no problem taking our money, signing us up for financial aid, knowing well that the policy of their institutions is to avoid hiring us. This is racial discrimination of the highest order. We suffer from gender discrimination as well and those of us who are middle-aged or above suffer from age discrimination.

Even at historically black colleges and universities like Howard University, a historically black institution in Washington, D.C., the faculty is only 58% black.

The disproportionate number of black, tenure-track college and university instructors — one out of every five — are clustered at 72 historically black four-year institutions that report the race of their employees. This despite the fact that those schools account for just 1.7% of all faculty nationwide.

Many predominantly white four-year public and nonprofit colleges and universities that have been promising for years to improve the diversity of their teaching ranks have made almost no progress in doing so.

In fact, the proportion of annual faculty hires who are black did not increase in the 10 years ending in 2016, the most recent period for which the figures are available; it fell slightly, from 7 percent to 6.6 percent, according to additional federal data analyzed by The Hechinger Report. Source: https://hechingerreport.org/after-colleges-promised-to-increase-it-hiring-of-black-faculty-declined/

It is time to bring this travesty to light. It is time for women of color to step up to the plate and call out the universities and colleges in this country for blatant racial, gender, and age discrimination. Perhaps, a class-action suit against colleges and universities will help to solve this problem in the USA.

Accreditation does now require diversity.

Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process involving the self-regulation of higher education that serves two purposes: assuring the public of quality and fostering institutional improvement. Accrediting agencies in the U.S. serve a broad range of institutions, thus making it difficult to implement diversity regulations across the board. Many agencies use standardized diversity policies or recommend that colleges and universities create their own objectives in this area, while others have relatively few or no requirements included in their accreditation standards. [Source]

Regarding diversity for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges stated that, “When peer reviewers evaluate a school for accreditation, they look to see if it claims to promote diversity and inclusion in its mission statement, and if so, they assess the institution’s efforts to do so” (Wheelan, 2005). [Source]

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions that offer programs in professional, technical, and occupational fields. Perliter Walters-Gilliam, ACICS associate vice president of quality enhancement and training, says the council does not specifically have a diversity requirement in its accreditation standards.  “The expectation is that diversity is included in the planning document every campus is required to complete,” Walters-Gilliam says. Specifically, each institution must complete an assessment of the effectiveness of its own diversity and inclusion efforts. [Source]

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a regional accrediting agency serving public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific, as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Armenia. The commission uses a diversity policy in its accreditation guidelines, holding schools to both societal standards of institutional behavior and its own subset of standards. “Quality and diversity are profoundly connected in pursuing goals in the mission statements of colleges and universities themselves: goals of expanding knowledge, educating capable citizens, and serving public needs,” the policy states. [Source]

blackwomenphdpoll

A poll I conducted on Facebook in March revealed that 70% of Black women professors are adjuncts, meaning that they have little job security and no benefits. “And most of those [30%] that are tenured work at HBCU’s[, while] only 2 percent work in primarily white institutions,” according to a Facebook poster.

Some 73 percent of all faculty positions are off the tenure track, according to a new analysis of federal data by the American Association of University Professors. “For the most part, these are insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom,” reads AAUP’s “Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in U.S. Higher Ed.” The report is based on the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, from 2016 (Flaherty, 2018).

AAUP chart on adjuncts

For three years, I have taught Speech Communication at a South Florida vocational college for medical students. I teach in March, July, and October. My bills are every month. I have not been able to acquire another course in my discipline – Business Administration/Marketing. One woman responded to my question: “Should we file a class action suit against colleges and universities” in this way, “I agree, Black women, in particular, we are the most educated of the groups and yet we continue to be pushed to the margins. She stated further that, “The problem is, although the research shows this, Black women would be reluctant to come aboard [for a class action suit] because it would kill their careers in higher education.”

In my opinion,  some of us have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

In response to this post, a young MBA student from California, called me, today (April 4, 2019) to say that one reason why I might not be getting a response to my job applications is that I graduated from a university that is ASBCP accredited but not AACSB accredited, which is preferred.

ACBSP is a leading accrediting agency in the learning outcomes category. Like the AACSBACBSP has a rigorous review process to ensure programs meet accreditation standards, including assigning a mentor to help schools complete a plan for self-study. For more information on these accreditations go to https://programs.online.utica.edu/articles/aacsb-vs-acbsp-mba-accreditation

SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Ageism is more of a problem for women seeking employment.

A few years ago, the San Francisco Federal Reserve released one of the largest-ever studies on age discrimination in the workforce. After strategically submitting more than 40,000 fake applications to low-paying jobs often held by older workers (administrative assistants, janitorial staff, etc.), they found that young and middle-aged applicants had higher callback rates than older ones, and older female applicants fared far worse than their male counterparts. However, “Workers age 40 and up are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which forbids employers from treating applicants or employees less favorably because of their age through all aspects of employment. This does not protect employees under age 40, though some states have laws that do. ADEA also protects employees from harassment and from any employment policies that, specifically, have a negative impact on employees 40 or older” (Castle, 2019).

More research:

A New Friend

While in Florida, I sought out Joan Cartwright. She interviewed me on her podcast www.blogtalkradio.com/musicwoman in 2014 and 2018. She is the founder and executive director of Women in Jazz of South Florida. I wanted to meet the Woman behind the Mic who was supporting women in jazz. As the day unfolded, I was enriched and enlightened. Evolved!

Joan has traveled the world as a vocalist, musician, composer, and author of several books. I was lucky enough for two of them to land in my lap. She gives lectures, worldwide, and has earned the highest education in Music, Communication, and Business Marketing. She hosted a trip through Boynton Beach and took me to her home and prepared lunch for me!

She asked me if I would like a reading and, now, I am glad I said yes. It was about me standing in the white light, even in song, residing there in the blue center of the white light. I was blown away. Then, she asked me if I was ready to become a member. I figured she earned that. She has worked very hard to support Women in Jazz and was the very light that she read about in that reading. It was so beautiful I am going to transcribe it. I am officially a member of Women in Jazz of South Florida. Please check out wijsf.org to become a member.

Also, check out her book Amazing Musicwomen. I was in need of inspiration and what they say is true! “If you’re in need of something and remain open to it, Divine Order will place it right in front of you. She is the kind of woman I could learn a lot from, having traveled the same journey as I am traveling. She has achieved a higher consciousness and superlative light!

Joan, thank you for your books, wisdom, and inspiration. ~ Laurie Dapice

I encourage others to seek her and WIJSF out as well as her radio show. The force of Women in Jazz is dynamic and you should be eager to be a part of something much bigger than you  🌴 Here is Joan singing:

 

Doctoral Dissertation

After six years of study, my doctoral dissertation is now available for the world to read.

Cartwright, J. (2017). Women in jazz: Music publishing and marketing (Order No. 10265410). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (1894606316). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/799fd615f51f3c4fa6b08945e8db56ab/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y

Also for sale at http://lulu.com/spotlight/divajc

 

My 14th Book

blueswomenRecently, I published my 14th book, Blues Women: The First Civil Rights Workers. Although it is a tiny book, it is packed with information about 10 powerful women who brought the Blues genre to the attention of millions of Americans. At a time when Africans in America were subjected to Jim Crow laws that further degraded their existence, women like Mamie Smith, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, and Bessie Smith stood their ground on stages across the nation, bringing joy and entertainment to thousands of people, white and black. Their songs are current, today, and their message of the upliftment of the human spirit helped to raise the consciousness of a nation that was built on the backs of their ancestors.

Buy this book at www.lulu.com/shop/dr-joan-cartwright/blues-women-the-first-civil-rights-workers/paperback/product-23486947.html

Now, this!

Now, this!

By Dr. Joan Cartwright

Jazz journalist Lara Pellegrinelli’s recent article Women in Jazz: Blues and The Objectifying Truth (2017), commiserated on the marginalization of women musicians in the Jazz/Blues genre, stating that the cultural assumption is that women are merely the passive vessels for male sounds (Pellegrinelli, 2017).

In response to Pellegrinelli, Terri Lynn Carrington said: When I started teaching and hearing the stories of the young women at the college, . . . I realized just because my experience was not the same as theirs, I am a part of this community and have to work toward or fight for change in any possible way that I can.  I feel great ownership in this art form and know that I belong here, and want my female students to feel the same way.

In a Huffington Post article, Carrington wrote, “On issues of racism and sexism, there can be impatience from progressives, expecting that after all this time everyone should just know better and stand on the correct side of consciousness” (Carrington, 2017).  She continued with, “feminizing or masculinizing music can be counter-productive. The studying, composing, and performing of music should be gender neutral, and I think the greatest musicians are musically ‘gender fluid’.”

I do not agree with Carrington’s statement because I have found few Jazz musicians, and certainly even fewer Classical musicians, who are willing to push forward music composed by women musicians.  My fortune was that Freddie Hubbard recorded my composition Sweet Return in 1983 on Atlantic Records.  Even though his half-German wife, the publisher, did everything in her power to stop the progress of this album because she felt there was something romantic between Freddie and me, which there was not, that composition made it into the Freddie Hubbard Song Book, much to my surprise.  Since then, I have had no other opportunities to get my music performed or recorded by any gender fluid musician, even though I have gifted several male musicians, band leaders, and arrangers with my song book.

In Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (1970), Frank Kofsky expounded on the words of Professor Archie Shepp, an articulate spokesperson for African-Americans. Shepp said, “the United States is culturally backward because white Americans have been unwilling to give credit to African-Americans as innovators of jazz, which he refers to as American realty – total reality.”  Shepp contends that whites “think they have a right to jazz instead of being grateful for jazz as a gift that the Negro has given.”  He said even white Americans in the jazz world “deny that jazz is first and foremost a black art created and nurtured by black people in this country out of the wealth of their historical experience” (Cartwright, 2009, p. 56).

For three centuries or more, white men have used the physical and cultural production of Africans in America to enrich themselves and their families while white women reaped the benefits in silence. White men raped African women, continually, producing a whole new group of people who were sold regardless of their relationship to their white fathers. The transition from cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane to jazz and blues as a money-making venture was as smooth as Smooth Jazz! Festivals and clubs around the world raked in millions of dollars while disowning the very people that the music came from. White musicians and educators dot the halls of conservatories and universities where jazz is taught by rote just like the classical music that issued from European concert halls.

Now, this – white women are complaining that they are marginalized in the world of Jazz. What a surprise. These same white women and their foremothers never found it odd that the music that spoke of freedom for Africans enslaved in America has become the popular music of today, without the input of African musicians.  A survey of jazz educators will result in a very low number of African professors at universities with Jazz Departments.  Professor Archie Shepp at Amherst, Dr. Larry Ridley at Rutgers, Dr. Karlton Hester at UCLA San Diego, Dr. Linda Williams at Southern University, and the handful of African-descent professors at Berklee – Terri Lynn Carrington, Patrice Rushen, and the late Geri Allen do not comprise a long list of instructors that teach the music that actually came out of their communities.

Do white people have a right to perform and teach Jazz and Blues music? This question is moot since white people believe they have a right to appropriate EVERYTHING FROM EVERYBODY and that no one should ever say anything about it in the negative.  Well, my book A History of African-American Jazz and Blues (Cartwright, 2009) discusses how The Music was appropriated, packaged, commercialized, and serendipitously stolen from its originators.  Besides the theft of the publishing royalties of great composers like Duke Ellington by publishers like Irving Mills, who managed Duke’s band for 13 years because African musicians could not belong to ASCAP or manage themselves outside of TOBA, Jazz and Blues musicians of African-descent were exploited in every way possible.

Of course, like cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane crops, Jazz and Blues were new crops that white men felt entitled to exploit to their personal benefit.  Musicians of African descent had no choice because they were barred from owning anything that they produced in the United States. Most prolific musicians died pennilessly and their families rarely benefitted from their cultural production. The following excerpt attests to that fact.

The financial pressures were exacerbated by another familiar pressure which had afflicted jazz musicians right from the start of the music – their reliance on the largely white businessmen who ran the clubs, record companies, management and booking agencies, and, most significantly, music publishing. The shaving of bands’ fees by clubowners and agents, and the practice of managers and agents adding their names to the publishing rights of tunes – and thereby claiming a share of their often lucrative proceeds – had begun early in jazz (Duke Ellington’s manager, Irving Mills, is a famous example, and while Ellington himself was never slow to claim a co-credit on works instigated by his sidemen, at least he had a musical hand in them) and, according to Dizzy, had grown no better by the time of the bebop era.

People with enough bucks and foresight to invest in bebop made some money. I mean more than just a little bit. All the big money went to the guys who owned the music, not to the guys who played it. The businessmen made much more than the musicians, because without the money to invest in producing their own music, and sometimes managing poorly what they earned, the modern jazz musicians fell victim to the forces of the market. Somehow, the jazz businessman always became the owner and got back more than his fair share, usually at the player’s expense. More was stolen from us during the bebop era than in the entire history of jazz . . . (Mathieson, 1999).

So, for white women to declare that they are barred, unfairly, from making a living in the Jazz scene is ludicrous.  White men have maintained control over the cultural production of Africans and they have no intention of relinquishing that control.  The rub is that African men will embrace white women musicians far more readily than they will women of African descent with a few exceptions like Dexter Gordon and Melba Liston.  However, Regina Carter and Teri Lynn Carrington managed to eke out a place in The Music for themselves and their art.

But most women of African descent who appeared on the Jazz scene, until recently, were shoved in a corner, rarely to be heard from.  Some of the most profound of those women were Vi Redd, Jeannie Cheatham, Dorothy Donegan, and Trudy Pitts.  Other talented musicians, like Shirley Scott and Hazel Scott, found favor because they had notable husbands – Shirley and Stanley Turrentine and Hazel and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.  Today, Mimi Jones, Shirazette Tinnin, Lakecia Benjamin, Camille Thurman, Jazmin Ghent, Gail Jhonson, Karen Briggs, and Esperanza Spaulding are making some headway.

Meanwhile, white women are courted by musicians of African descent with valor and pleasure.  For instance, Christian McBride partnered with Diana Krall and Prince endorsed Candy Dulfer (and the two white women in his band).  Perhaps, white women can pay to gain credibility by recording and performing with African-American musicians, while women of African descent cannot make that monetary layout.

As far as sexual harassment is concerned, what is it that white women do not understand about the sexual energy of white men who raped African women during slavery, while their white wives languished in plantation mansions?  Today, white men are being called out in great numbers for sexually harassing women in the workplace.  This is their modus operandi.  Is that to say that African men do not rape and sexually harass?  Heaven’s no.  It is the nature of man to hunt women like prey.

My career as a Jazz/Blues vocalist and composer spanned 50 years.  I remember several instances when I was targeted by male musicians.  However, I was able to extricate myself from the situation or rationalize why that happened.  One white man told me to take my clothing off.  When I refused, he told me I would never be anything but a secretary.  I asked him to call me a cab and went on to have a charmed career, performing in 20 countries on five continents, without ever taking my clothes off for one single opportunity to perform or record.

Maybe I am a very strong woman with principles that do not allow me to cave into the taunting of males.  One of my band members suggested that I engage in fellatio with him in a closet at a New Years’ Eve gig that I hired him for.  I did not speak to him for two years after that and I never hired him again.  Women have recourse.  Sniveling about sexual harassment without speaking out about it means nothing.  It’s a man’s world only because women allow it to be that.

Women fail to create camaraderie amongst themselves.  For 10 years, I have been the director of a non-profit organization that promotes and advocates for women musicians.  It is like pulling teeth to get women to support this organization.  They think that supporting Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. detracts from who they are.  Women are not joiners or supporters unless they think they will get something from an organization.  They expect me to be their agent, to get them gigs, to promote them even though they refuse to pay $50 dues per year.  That’s insane.

I spent the last six years writing my dissertation Women in Jazz: Music Publishing and Marketing. My research showed that women lack sufficient business skills to succeed in the monstrously competitive world of Jazz.  Most women musicians resign themselves to teaching rather than concentrating on branding, networking, teamwork, negotiation, and accounting.  Few are adept at writing grant proposals to win financial awards to produce and perform original music.

Then, there are those that know my organization exists but minimalize it because I am not a white woman.  Well, Blues and Jazz came from the experience of African women and men in America, and just because white musicians think they own it, they never will.  They may play all the riffs and copy all the solos of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Marylou Williams, Hazel Scott, Melba Liston, and other prolific Jazzwomen but they will never understand the burden that led to the expression of the Blues and, subsequently, Jazz.

White people harm each other – yes – but the harm they did to Africans in America was counteracted by the Blues and Jazz and they can never understand the full meaning of that because they are unwilling to give credit to African-Americans as innovators of jazz, which [Shepp referred] to as ‘American realty – total reality.’  As Shepp contended, whites ‘think they have a right to jazz’ instead of being grateful for jazz as a ‘gift that the Negro has given.’  He said even white Americans in the jazz world ‘deny that jazz is first and foremost a black art created and nurtured by black people in this country out of the wealth of their historical experience’ (Mathieson, 1999).

References

Carrington, T.L. (2017).  Sexism in jazz: Being agents of change. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexism-in-jazz-agents-of-change_us_58ebfab1e4b0ca64d9187879

Cartwright, J.  (2009).  A history of African-American jazz and blues. FYI Communications, Inc. (www.lulu.com/spotlight/divajc)

Cartwright, J. (2017). Women in Jazz: Music Publishing and Marketing. FYI Communications, Inc. (www.lulu.com/spotlight/divajc)

Mathieson, K. (1999). Giant steps: Bebop and the creators of modern jazz, 1945-65. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books

Pelligrinelli, L. (2017).  Women in jazz: Blues and the objectifying truth. Retrieved from https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/2017/12/12/women-in-jazz-blues-and-the-objectifying-truth/#comment-5707

Dr. Joan Cartwright is a Jazz/Blues vocalist, composer, and author of books on Jazz and Blues and Women in Jazz and Blues. She is the founder of Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes and advocates for women musicians, globally! www.wijsf.org