[Dixielandjazz] "Shine" the slang meaning

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Tue Nov 2 16:46:34 PST 2004

Some perspective
When I was  16,  I was hit with a night stick for just walking down the
street.  The cop didn't say a word just let me have it. I was pretty
surprised.  When I did a tour with the USAF band in Hawaii we were warned by
the public affairs officer that if we went to the left at the end of the
Island highway  we might not come out alive because that was Hawaiian
sanctuary.  When I played the Pentagon we were very sternly lectured that we
should not be on the streets with our uniforms on because we might be
attacked.  That's in our own capitol city!  I did it anyway because no one
could make me not wear the uniform that I was pretty proud of especially in
my own capitol.  (fortunately the worst thing that happened was that people
thought I was a cop or doorman and kept asking me for directions) You don't
have to be black to get in trouble because of your race in this country.
Racism is free and available to all equally.

Just a question.  I have heard blacks called shines.  Actually rarely
because my father in law had a much bigger although limited vocabulary when
it came to black and Hispanic persons.  Is the name because of the song or
the other way around.  I really don't know.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 3:43 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] "Shine" the slang meaning

> For those who are still unsure about "Shine" and "Pipe The Shine".
> "Shine" is/was a derogatory term for "Nigger" which is/was a derogatory
> for Black people.
> It was still in use in the 1940s, 50s and 60s in parts of, if not all of
> USA. Probably still is in use today.
> "Pipe the shine" meant to beat the "shine" with a lead pipe, or blackjack
> which had their own slang terms as being a "nigger knocker".
> In the USA, if a black ventured into "white" territory, or what was
> perceived as white territory, he/she would often be beaten up or killed.
> Happened as late as the 1960s when the Freedom Marches were taking place
> here. Even in the Northern USA like York, Pennsylvania where in the 1960s,
> several blacks, including one woman, were shot and killed while riding in
> car after they lost their way and drove into a white section. Pennsylvania
> just last year, convicted a couple of people, including a policeman and
> then mayor for inciting that cowardly attack.
> Many black jazz musicians were also victims of beatings at the hands of
> whites, especially the police. Bud Powell in Philadelphia, Thelonious Monk
> in Philadelphia and then Wilmington Delaware, Miles Davis in NYC etc.,
> etc., in the 1960s. They were still considered undesirables who did not
> their place. The slang term for them was "uppity niggers".
> In Miles' case, he was standing outside Birdland smoking a cigarette when
> assaulted by a policeman who asked him to move on, claiming he was
> loitering. When Miles protested that he was working inside the club, the
> whacked him a couple of times with his nightstick, arrested him and put
> in jail.
> It is amazing how quickly this history is not learned, or gets forgotten
> otherwise glossed over. Because jazz was considered "nigger music" by most
> people, all jazz musicians, black or white (me included) were still very
> wary of the police in the 50s and 60s. We were all classed as "nigger
> lovers", vermin and fair game for a quick beating or arrest if we showed
> sign of thinking we were equals to the rest of the population.
> I don't think there is an old jazz man around today, white or black, who
> not hate the cops back then. And some of us are still very wary even in
> these changed times.
> And by all accounts, it was a hell of a lot worse in the early 1900s when
> "That's Why They Call Me Shine" was written.
> Perhaps, upon reflection of the history of the music and the musicians,
> "happy music" we call jazz is/was not always so happy after all?
> Perhaps it was, and still is, whether we like it or not, the music of
> protest?
> Certainly, from the black perspective, it is the music of social protest
> if we peruse the below web site, we will find out how and why the blacks
> used the theater and music in their struggle for equality. And if we think
> little bit about it, we may also gain some insight as to where Wynton
> Marsalis is coming from and why his perspective differs from ours.
> http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2838/is_n2_v29/ai_17534807/
> Or we can ignore the historical aspect of the positive music and just
> it up to "political correctness" which is what most other folks do in
> continuing efforts to live in denial.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list