Stepping out into society as a Black person is going to a party where you know you’re not wanted. Whether at work, school, orchestra concerts or the opera, we’re unwelcome. To survive, we make ourselves small for white comfort leaving our true selves at home. I feel this at classical music concerts, sometimes even my own.
Besides the cookout, church Sunday is when we let our hair down. It’s an all-day event — especially in the South, where the livin’ still ain’t so easy. We fill up full of the spirit, getting ready to battle another week of racial trauma.
The concert hall should be as reparative, open for all to obtain spiritual sustenance. Instead, it’s a shored-up sonic refuge of whiteness. Concert halls are space for white classists to be seen, not hear and feel. My darkness breaches its whiteness.
Classical concerts are racially traumatic experiences. It’s why we don’t go. Why pay to sit stone-still, quiet, cooped up with white folks who don’t want us there? Does this sound like a relaxing Saturday night to you?…
Read on here.