Category: African-American History

By William “Duke” Smither  “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”  Harriet Tubman (a.k.a., the Underground Railroad’s “Black Moses”)   A few years ago, I wrote about the […]

by William “Duke” Smither “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley (a.k.a., Robert Nesta Marley, 1945–1981, Jamaican singer-songwriter, proud Rastafarian and Reggae musician extraordinaire)     Gone Too Soon… Proponents of Pan-Africanism, Ethnomusicology, and Black Music in general– but Jazz, our especially expressive music with African roots, in particular— […]

By William “Duke” Smither “Where I come from we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm, and when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble.”   — Babatunde Olatunji (Nigerian Djembefola, 1927-2003, Grammy award-winning, master-drummer, percussionist)   Talking Drums African musicians say that […]