[Dixielandjazz] Lil Armstrong (remark about passport listingdivorce of Lil)

Rob McCallum rakmccallum@hotmail.com
Mon, 30 Sep 2002 13:15:16 -0400

Hello all,

Not to stray too far from the subject of jazz (but seeing as jazz developed
from the musical culture of slaves and freedmen) there is a direct link to
the Civil War.  Though what Charlie Hooks said is true regarding the
technicalities regarding the Emancipation Proclamation and Mr. Lincoln's
support of a back to Africa movement (which, in hindsight, was ludicrous
because slaves were Americans and NOT Africans by the mid nineteenth
century), the fact is that the cause of the Civil War (or The War Between
the States) was slavery and all the issues that surrounded it.  Those who
say that's not true and that it was to save the Union had better inquire why
the Union needed saving!!  True that most Americans (and even some
abolitionists) did not believe that black slaves were "equal" to whites
(whatever that meant) but there certainly was a persistent feeling of guilt
among many (especially Christians) in the North that there was, at best,
base hypocrisy in enslaving humans and at worst, a serious sin.  The Civil
War coincided with the expansion of the United States westward and whether
or not, and what parts, were going to be free and which slave.  This
controversy centers around the idea that slavery would be expanding out of
the South and into the West (making the conflict inevitable).  This had
major economic ramifications.  The South also had, for all intents and
purposes, no cost labor, and there was criticism even among many capitalists
that that was an unfair advantage to those who had to pay their laborers
(which, incidentally, was also a tactic used to foster racism among the poor

Regarding emancipation in the North, it was only an issue in regard to the
loyal border states.  The Emancipation did have the practical effect of
"freeing" the slaves, and it was later incorporated into Constitutional
amendments.  Of course, the South was devastated after the conflict and
there was wide variance from region to region (and even town to town and
plantation to plantation- i.e. there can be no blanket generalization) as to
the manner in which freed blacks lived.  Of course, during and after
Reconstruction with the closing of the Freedmen's Bureau and the coming of
Jim Crow Laws, Blacks in the South once again lost their civil rights.

Of course the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure, and a very
successful one, but there is so much more to it than that.  Catch phrases
like "feel good liberals" are meaningless regarding that time and that

Jazz Content?  Everything from the Sorrow Songs forward.

All the best,
Rob McCallum

----- Original Message -----
From: Charlie Hooks <charliehooks@earthlink.net>
To: DJML Dixieland Jazz <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 11:54 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Lil Armstrong (remark about passport
listingdivorce of Lil)

> on 9/28/02 2:41 AM, Artwoo@aol.com at Artwoo@aol.com wrote:
> > A further stretch could be a holdover from the "Runaway Slave" laws
> > that were prevalent in both the North and South. These laws were
repealed in
> > the North by Congress in 1864 (note the Civil War started in 1861) but
> > obviously remained in the South until General Lee surrendered.
>     This entire business of North/South freeing the slaves and keeping the
> slaves--is all much misunderstood even by some American "historians" and
> completely misunderstood by foreign writers.  Let me explain just a bit:
>     It is said that "Lincoln freed the slaves."  He did free them, but
> in the South where he had (at the time) no jurisdiction.  HE DID NOT FREE
> THE SLAVES IN THE NORTH, where he did have jurisdiction, and said, when
> asked, that he would not do such a thing to his friends.
>     `In other words, freeing the Southern slaves was a Northern war
> it was hoped that they would rise up against their masters and aid the
> Northern cause (which they did not do).  This "Emancipation Proclamation"
> ran only in the South, not in the North.  It had absolutely nothing to do
> (except in the febrile minds of anti-slavery advocates) with "seeing the
> evil of slavery" or with thinking slaves equal to their masters or with
> other of the feel-good warm motives attributed by modern liberals.
>     "I am told that the Northern states were not as progressive as was
> advertised. Some speculate that the War between the States was more about
> competitive trade issues and less about human rights."
>     Whoever told you that was smarter than the politically correct
> historians!  The "human rights" issue existed only in the minds of
> anti-slavery propagandists.
>     No one, and I mean NO ONE!, at the time regarded black slaves as in
> way the equal of their masters!  Lincoln sat down in his office with the
> great "black" (mixed race) Douglass and told him straight out: "Your race
> and mine will never be able" to mix and be neighbors.   Lincoln thought
> best solution for "the Negro Problem" was a return to Africa, and he
> supported the Liberian movement--a return to Africa of those who chose to
> go--and where they named the place "Liberia", insituted slavery with
> themselves as the masters, and enslaved other Africans!
>     "[Armstrong's band] would travel all night because the town
> where he played would provide a place for him to perform, but not allow
> to sleep there...sounds like the Baby Jesus being refused a place to
>     Yes, his band and many others.  And it was this kind of unfairness
> brought many of us kids in the South to turn against apartheid during the
> 50s.  But "like the Baby Jesus"?  Umm.  Going a bit far, I'd say.  Even
> Louis would say...!  They were just ordinary black folks undergoing the
> transition from down to up, like Jews contended with out of Egypt, etc.
>     Realize, please!:  Many black gentlemen survived this transition
> Duke Groner, Andy Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Johnson--the list is
> interminable!  Out my front window now the light sears green leaves all
> a-trimble, but all these men, as boys, must have looked out their front
> windows back in the twenties and seen the same: the light doesn't care and
> neither do the leaves about color or race or anything to do with men. It
> just IS.  And we just ARE.
> Charlie
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