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"We're Not Just Shooting the Breeze": Marching Bands and Black Masculinity in New Orleans

"We're Not Just Shooting the Breeze": Marching Bands and Black Masculinity in New Orleans <p>Abstract:</p><p>This is a coming-of-age story of kids who play in southern marching bands and the teachers who mentor them. In the South, "show-style" bands are Black excellence personified. They are also institutions that perpetuate norms of race and gender. This essay follows middle school kids as they navigate the hierarchies of masculinity that govern band. The stories come from teachers, students, and graduates of The Roots of Music, an afterschool program in New Orleans. Volunteering with Roots since 2008, I&apos;ve met hundreds of boys and girls who are now young men and women. Every one of them is different, but in each case the masculine ideals of toughness, discipline, and competition are entwined with vulnerability, loss, and love. Their words are paired with photographs by Abdul Aziz that convey the brash sound and fierce presentation of a 150-piece band: eyes forward, still as statues, in formation, at the ready.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

"We&apos;re Not Just Shooting the Breeze": Marching Bands and Black Masculinity in New Orleans

Southern Cultures , Volume 27 (4) – Mar 17, 2022

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This is a coming-of-age story of kids who play in southern marching bands and the teachers who mentor them. In the South, "show-style" bands are Black excellence personified. They are also institutions that perpetuate norms of race and gender. This essay follows middle school kids as they navigate the hierarchies of masculinity that govern band. The stories come from teachers, students, and graduates of The Roots of Music, an afterschool program in New Orleans. Volunteering with Roots since 2008, I&apos;ve met hundreds of boys and girls who are now young men and women. Every one of them is different, but in each case the masculine ideals of toughness, discipline, and competition are entwined with vulnerability, loss, and love. Their words are paired with photographs by Abdul Aziz that convey the brash sound and fierce presentation of a 150-piece band: eyes forward, still as statues, in formation, at the ready.</p>

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 17, 2022

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