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Duke Ellington: The Music's "Great Spirit" (Fortsetzung) Teil 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5

     As for the Pulitzer salute to the Klan, when Duke heard this incredible confession of lynch mentality by the Pulitzerwaffe, his rejoinder was, "I guess the Lord didn't want be to get famous too young!"
     Ellington's 2000 registered compositions, his leadership of the Ellington orchestra for over 40! Years, without a break, continuing even when the Basie band broke up, by hook and with a crook (Mills) is another testament to Ellington's real (as distinct from legendary) Ducality.
     The national character of Duke Ellington's work, African American and American, the very nature of what Duke combines to produce his great body of composition, makes it seem as if Duke was, himselfm the most gloriously aestheticized paradigm of Du Bois' (his spiritual father) description of the "twoness" of the Afro-American people. The "double consciousness", which we have been taken aback considering but yet not quite understood, is the actual configuration of Afro-American social, psychological and cultural sensibility.
     Are we Black or Americans?, the distressed Afro-American prototype consciousness tortures itself asking. The fact is we are both, but that "two ness" is the basis of schizophrenia only if we cannot realize both aspects of our Western experience. This is the same "twoness" we must arm ourselves with politically, that is, to fight for democracy and equal citizenship rights, but at the same time to assert our right to self-determination, because it is only to the extent that we do self-organize and project our own historically confirmed summation of the tasks and methods facing us in forwarding the overall struggle, that we will be able to advance the "other side" of this twinned struggle successfully.
     We need not be almost "torn in two", as Du Bois lamented, by the contradictions of being Black in the national chauvinist fiction called "White America". We are both, Black and American, and I hope I scandalize Black cultural nationalists into near sanity by repeating, Yes, Black people are Black and Americans, and this is our double-edged sword.
     This is the dichotomy, the dialectic, of our fully conscious Black selves, not a schizo-paranoia, but the fuller recognition of our own history and experience. This is the powerful perception, given philosophical and aesthetic dimension (rationale) through his understanding of the historic parameters and existent continuum and paradigm Ellington drew upon to inspire his USE of the concept that Black People are African And American and we can authentically draw upon the entire range of psycho-cultural aesthetic choices with which to express ourselves. For to be an American we must be shaped (even if we are not aware of this) by three cultures: The African, The Native Peoples, The European, at their deepest incursion re-organized as American culture.

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