SONGS OF THE SOUTH

The BRC ponders the dark heart of Dixie

Released in November 1946, Walt Disney's first live-action film, Song of the South, has abided in infamy throughout the postwar era due to its racially volatile subject matter centered on Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus folk tales. Save for the U.K. and Japan, the film remains largely suppressed, yet its signature number, "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," often surfaces, reopening deep queries about American racism. On the occasion of photographer William Eggleston's Whitney retrospective, the Black Rock Coalition will perform a four-night musical program that dialogues with the Memphis master artist's investigations of the New South. Led by Sophia Ramos, Doron Flake, and Maritri, and featuring Brazz Tree, Soul Cycle, and California King, the BRC's sonic army aims to represent the real, postwar southern culture that was the glory of the years between Dr. King's assassination and the post–civil rights malaise ushered in by Reagan. The program will span from Macon to Muscle Shoals and New Orleans, yet special emphasis will shine on Eggleston's Memphis and its legendary biracial Stax label in remembrance of recently deceased Isaac Hayes. During this November that rewrote black-white relations with lightning, "Experiments in Color Negative" is required viewing in the urban Briar Patch.
Fridays, 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 7. Continues through Nov. 28, 2008

 
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