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Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – Live! (1971)

July 22, 2020

Learning to be anti-racist

“Racism leads to bad policy-making. It’s making our economy worse. And not just in ways that disadvantage people of Colour. It turns out it’s not a zero sum. Racism is bad for White people, too.”
– Heather C. McGhee, Racism Has a Cost for Everyone

For years, I have been mistakenly under the impression that ‘racist’ and ‘not racist’ were opposites. I’ve since realized that ‘anti-racism’ is actually the opposite of ‘racism’ & I need to do a better job of being actively anti-racist.

As a starting point, I want to commit to doing two small things every week:

  1. Listen & Learn. Share resources that I’ve found helpful.
  2. Amplify Black Voices. Each Wednesday, feature a Black Artist from the 1001 list.


So far, I’ve looked at Curtis Mayfield’s There’s No Place Like America Today, The Crusaders’ Street Life, Cypress Hill’s Cypress Hill, Cee-Lo Green’s Cee-Lo Green…Is the Soul Machine, Maxwell’s Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s, Shaka Zulu, and Muddy Waters’ Hard Again.

This week, Live!, by Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker.


[Album 788/1001]

“Let the Music Play”
– RuPaul

Normally, I argue that the best songs are often short & sweet and will still work with just vocals & an acoustic guitar.220px-Fela_Kuti_Live

But then again, if you’ve got a big band (and Fela Kuti’s band, Africa ’70, can really play), why strip it down?

And if you’re in a groove (the rhythm section here propels the tracks nicely, with no fewer than 8 musicians credited with ‘percussion’), why stop?

So in these cases, I say forget about song lengths (the shortest tune here clocks in at 8:06), forget about sparse arrangements.

Just let the music(ians) play.


Helpful Resources

Heather C. McGhee’s Ted Talk below is engaging & enlightening.

I would have thought that part of the reason that racism continues is because people have some sort of an incentive to be racist.

But it turns out, it’s just bad for everyone.

From → 1970s

  1. I highly recommend this Ginger Baker documentary: Totaly understand why Clapton kept trying to avoid him!

  2. Man, I must get some Fela. It’s a whole in the VC collection. Ta for the reminder.
    Geoff, the doco mentioned above is excellent (and horrifying) but there are critiques around suggesting it wasn’t entirely fair/accurate. Not taking sides, just reporting!

    • The reporting is appreciated, Bruce – as is the recommendation of the doc + the warning about its horrifying contents too!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Femi Kuti – Femi Kuti (1995) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Shuggie Otis – Inspiration Information (1974) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Gang Starr – Step in the Arena (1991) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. Jurassic 5 – Power in Numbers (2002) | 1001albumsin10years
  5. 1971 | 1001albumsin10years

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