Layers of Heritage: How to Make the Melting Pot into a Good Gumbo
The potential and the tragedy of the United States is bound up in the ways we deal with--and fail to deal with--where our people come from.
America’s musical culture has created spaces where - from time to time - the many social boundaries (class, race, gender, ethnicity and more) we maintain have melted or lowered to reflect the best of humanity.
At The Rhapsody Project, we are all for melting down prejudice. However, the myth of the melting pot must go. Our country does not benefit when the things that make you special are boiled away into a colorless mush. When immigrants arrive here, we do not want them to trade in their culture and identities to become American--that act of trading in is the thing that created “whiteness.”
We want a gumbo--where our people’s ingredients, flavors and spices combine while still retaining some of their own shape and texture.
To dash The Myth of the Melting Pot and establish the Era of The Gumbo, we have cooked up the following ideas for discussing and discovering the layers of our heritage.
No layer is more valid or important than any other--though some may be more visible or dormant in a given individual’s qualities, and the place they stand their path. We also do not believe that these are the only layers of heritage - this is simply a good starting point.
We strongly encourage everyone to explore and absorb steadily (in drips, sips, or full on immersion) these various layers.
Please look them over, reflect on your relation to each, and then connect with us if you would like to collaborate with The Rhapsody Project as you chart a path for that journey.
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