[1] In 1986, 14.8% of blacks couldn't find a job, as opposed to 6.8% of whites. See: Folbre, Nancy and the Center for Popular Economics, A Field Guide to the U.S. Economy. Pantheon Books, New York, 1987. Page 4.7. For more detailed statistics based on both race and age, see: Devine, Joel, and Wright, James, The Greatest of Evils. Aldine De Gruyter, New York, 1993. Pages 148-158. For another account, see: Farley, Reynolds, The Color Line and the Quality of Life in America. Reynolds Farley and Walter R. Allen for the National Committee for Research on the 1980 Census. Oxford University Press, New York. 1989. Pages 209 through 256.

[2] For example, in 1985, 20% of white families received more than $50,000 a year, while only 7% of black families made that much. Statistical Abstract of the U.S. 1985. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Page 436, table 731.

[3] In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol writes, "Average expenditures per pupil in the city of New York in 1987 were some $5,500." In the highest spending suburbs of New York funding levels rose above $11,000, with the highest districts in the state around $15,000." The New York city school districts he refers to are predominately Black and Latino. This phenomenon is by no means restricted to New York city. For example, in 1989 in Chicago, the average spending per pupil was again $5,500, but in northern suburbs (which are largely white) the average was between $8,500 and $9,000. Kozol, Jonathan, Savage Inequalities. First Harper Perennial Edition, Harper Collins, New York. 1992. For specifics about New York, see pages 83 and 84; for Chicago, see page 54. The whole book is about the inequalities of educational funding in our country. For another account, see: Farley, Reynolds op cit, pages 209 through 256.

[4] "The 31 million or so Blacks are 12 percent of America's population but supply nearly half its prison population." The Economist, March 3, 1990. Page 17.

[5] For example, the Washington Post National Weekly Edition ran an article in the February 13-19 edition, 1995 entitled "The American Way of Justice, Capital punishment is an expensive government program that doesn't work." The piece cites a study performed by two Stanford University researchers who found that "from 1976 to 1980, killers of white victims in Florida were eight times more likely to get the death penalty than killers of black victims. Blacks who killed whites were the most likely of all to go to death row." Blacks make up nearly 50% of the death row population nationwide.

[6] The first black mayor of Philadelphia, who ordered the fire-bombing of a Black counter-cultural group which had repeated clashes with the police. The fire that resulted burned dozens of blocks in the city's Black ghetto.

[7] Tom Bradley, the Black mayor of Los Angeles, called in the National Guard to put down the rebellion that followed the verdict in the Rodney King case against police brutality.

[8] Ellison, Ralph. Shadow and Act, page 261. Vintage Books, New York, 1972. (Hereafter referred to as "SA").

[9] SA, pages 172 and 173.

[10] Marable, Manning. Black American Politics. London. 1985. Page 145.

[11] For a more recent example, between the years 1972 and 1992 the percentage of Black men who earn less than $13,091 grew from 24.3% to 26.9%, and for Black women it grew from 14.0% to 19.4%. Over the same period, the percentage of Black men who earn more than $52,364 grew from 4.2% to 5.1%, and for Black women, the figure grew from 0.5% to 1.6%. More Blacks are becoming poor, while at the same time, more are becoming increasingly wealthy. See: Sklar, Holly. Chaos or Community. South End Press, Boston. 1995. Page 22.

[12] The Harvard population geneticist R.D. Lewontin conducted research along these lines in 1972. He found that only 6.3% of all variation could be accounted for by the traditional concept of "major race", and therefore that almost 94% of all human genetic variation occurs within these races. See: Jurmain, Robert and Nelson, Harry. Introduction to Physical Anthropology. Fifth edition. West Publishing Co., St. Paul. 1991. Page. 198.

[13] Baraka, Amiri (a.k.a. LeRoi Jones). The Music. William Morrow and Company, New York, 1987. Page 318.

[14] SA, pages 263 and 264.

[15] Coltrane, John. Coltrane Live at Birdland. Recorded November 18, 1963. Impulse Records. Liner notes by LeRoi Jones. These liner notes are also printed in: Jones, LeRoi (a.k.a. Amiri Baraka), Black Music. William Morrow & Company, New York, 1972. Page 63.

[16] Jones, LeRoi. Blues People. Pages 207-214 offer a more detailed explanation of Cool Jazz or West Coast Jazz as it was often called.

[17] LeRoi Jones writes, "The term cool in its original context meant a specific reaction to the world, a specific relationship to one's environment... To be cool was, in its most accessible meaning, to be calm, even unimpressed, by what horror the world might daily propose... The essential irony here is that, like swing, when the term cool could be applied generally to a vague body of music, that music seemed to represent almost exactly the opposite of what cool as a term of social philosophy had been given to mean. The term was never meant to connote the tepid new popular music of the white middle-brow middle class. On the contrary, it was exactly this America that one was supposed to `be cool' in the face of." Jones, LeRoi. Blues People. Pg 213.

[18] Davis's Kind of Blue is often considered the quintessential modal album. The first song, So What has only one chord for three quarters of the song form, with a second chord for the bridge. That's it. The other songs on the album are similar.

[19] Thomas, J.C., Chasin' the Trane. Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York, 1975. Page 89. (Here after referred to as "Chasin'").

[20] Chasin', page 114.

[21] Taken directly from the liner notes of A Love Supreme. Coltrane, John. Recorded December 9, 1964. Impulse Records.

[22] Chasin', page 184.

23 Coltrane, John. A Love Supreme. Recorded December 9, 1964. Impulse Records.

24 Coltrane, John. Transition. Recorded June, 1965. Impulse Records.

25 Coltrane, John. First Meditations. Recorded September, 1965. Impulse Records.

26 Coltrane, John. Om. Copyright 1965. Impulse Records.

27 Coltrane, John. Meditations. Recorded November, 1965. Impulse Records.

[28] Chasin', page 122.

[29] SA, page 170.

[30] SA, page 162.

[31] Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Vintage, New York, October 1990. Page 101. (Hereafter referred to as "Invisible").

[32] Invisible, page 94.

[33] Invisible, page 45.

[34] Invisible, page 407.

[35] Invisible, page 575.

[36] Invisible, page 164.

[37] SA, page 238.

[38] Jones, Black Music, page 11.

[39] Take Hip Hop, for example. Here is a music that actively defies ruling class ideas. It advocates self defense in the face of police brutality. It is anti-racist to the core. It is full of "foul language" that reflects the realities of poor urban life. This language (and the message it coveys) has been the target for intense opposition, parental warning labels, and even bans from the air. Sister Souljah, Queen Latifa, Public Enemy, NWA and many other artists have been singled out, and attempts have been made to censor their work. Although I wouldn't exactly consider Rage Against the Machine Hip Hop, they are one of the most explicitly revolutionary bands I've ever heard, with song titles like "Take the Power Back," "Know Your Enemy," "Township Rebellion," and "Freedom." Their most popular song, "Killing in the Name," about police officers who burn crosses, was barred from MTV supposedly because of a chorus where they repeat "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" (Incidentally, in the liner notes to their album, they thank Coltrane for inspiration, another example of his diverse influence.)

[40] SA, page 159.

[41] Murray, Albert. The Hero and the Blues. University of Missouri Press, 1973. Page 66.

[42] Chasin', page 131.

43 Coltrane, John. Coltrane Plays the Blues. Atlantic Recording Corporation. Recorded October 25, 1960.

[44] I actually heard (and have a copy of) a tape like this, which was played for a Black Music History class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, by Richard Davis. Davis stumbled upon this discovery purely by accident, having just heard the Bechet song (which he has unfortunately forgotten the title and recording of) as he was listening to Coltrane Plays the Blues, putting together a lecture tape. When he heard the similarity, he checked and the key of the songs were the same, along with the tempo, so he tried his experiment, and on the first take it was a perfect fit.

45 Coltrane, John. My Favorite Things. Recorded October 21-26, 1960. Atlantic Recording Company.

46 Coltrane, John. Coltrane's Sound. Recorded October 24-26, 1960. Atlantic Recording Company.

[47] Coltrane's first wife, Naima, recorded as many of his shows as possible. One night when they were playing back a tape, Coltrane heard something in his solo that he didn't recognize. He couldn't match the sounds he heard on the tape to what he remembered in his head. Finally Naima recognized the melody as sounding very similar to Daphnis and Chloe, a piece by Ravel. In particular, there is a harp solo in the piece and the sounds of the harp, the overtones, the sustain, along with the themes, where what Coltrane was trying to achieve. Coltrane said, "Tomorrow we're going to get some harp records. So I can hear what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." See: Thomas, J.C. Chasin'. Pages 86-87.

[48] Chasin', page 203.

[49] In particular, see: O'Malley, Robert (editor). New Essays on Invisible Man. Cambridge University Press, New York. 1988. Also see: Benston, Kimberly W. (editor). Speaking For You. The Vision of Ralph Ellison. Howard University Press, Washington, D.C. 1990.

[50] SA, pages 170 and 171.

[51] SA, pages 162 and 163.

[52] SA, page 147.

[53] Chasin', page 127.

[54] SA, page 181.

[55] Check out: "Living with Music," "The Charlie Christian Story," and "Remembering Jimmy" from Shadow and Act.

[56] Chasin', page 118.

[57] Jones, LeRoi. Black Music, pages 14 and 15.

[58] Chasin', page 169.

[59] Jones, Black Music, page 66.

[60] Murray, The Hero and the Blues, page 36.

[61] Hendrix, Jimi. Lifelines, the Jimi Hendrix Story Disk 4 -- The L.A. Forum Concert. Recorded April 26, 1969. Reprise Records.

[62] He often says this to his "Black Music History" class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which I have had the pleasure of attending for four semesters now.