In the world of classical music, systemic racism is pervasive. In the top dozen US orchestras, only about 2% of musicians and conductors are Black. The heart of the matter is the image of a Black musician playing – or a Black conductor leading – Beethoven or Wagner amid racist fear that classical music may lose its traditional culture. One donor actually said, “You people have jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Why can’t you leave the classical to us?” Mark MacNamara’s article in the San Francisco Cultural Voice explores a rarely addressed topic: the struggle of Black musicians against this “culture of exclusion,” and one man’s effort to bring equality to the concert hall.
About the Author
Journalist Mark MacNamara writes for Nautilus and San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV.org).
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