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October 22, 1982 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-22
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Racism
from 1
students should imagine themselves at-
tending an almost all-black college.
"You go to the bank, and all the tellers
are black. You go to buy clothes, and
you can't find any. You start to talk,
and people say 'Huh?,' so you try to
change the way you speak. You go to a
football game, and there are 105,000
blacks there and you're the only white in
your section," he says. "I've seen a lot
of people become unstable here
because of the isolation."
And while white students acquire a
great fondness for the University
through their years here-some enough
to donate considerable sums of money
to the sclool after they leave-Mason
says most black students leave
memories of Ann Arbor behind.
"You never get the feeling it's your
school," he says. "I've been here for
four years and I don't have anything
that says 'Go Blue' on it. When I leave
here, I don't think they (the University
alumni association) are going to see
much money from me. Effectively it
will no longer exist. It's just a place I
came and got a piece of paper.
"To get the most accurate, though
most extreme, example of racism at
the University, go talk to Leo
Kelly-it's a case that highlights the
black situation," he suggests.
Two years ago, Leo Kelly, a black
student from Detroit, was unpacking
his bags for the first time in his Bursley
dorm room. He is now serving a double
life sentence for the murder of two-
fellow dorm residents.
At his trial last summer, Kelly
pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Kelly's defense was that, under the in-
tense pressures of being a black at a
predominantly white and racist
University, he lost control and shot the
two students in a psychotic rage.
Kelly's case is obviously an extreme
example. But the fact that Mason, a
minority peer counselor, points to it
suggests a very basic problem on this
campus: The University, despite its
liberal reputation, is seen by many
members of its community as a very
segragated and sometimes racist in-
stitution.
Nearly every student-black and
white-acknowledges that a subtle, but
very real racism pervades the Univer-
sity. It might be as simple as a joke told
at the wrong time. Or turning away
when someone is talking. Or even a
professor asking a student in lecture to
speak "black talk" to demonstrate how
different dialects evolve.
"It's very subtle," says senior Diane
Hutchinson, a minority peer advisor at
Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall. "But
just because it's not blatant doesn't
mean it's less dangerous. Subtle racism
is harder to deal with because you don't
know where it's coming from; you
know where blatant racism is coming
from."
"There's racism here, but it isn't so
obvious," says sophomore Gary
Foster, a black student from Detroit.
"You feel intimidated, you have to be
aware some people don't like you
because of the color of your skin. It
stays with you 24 hours a day."
The racism here was prominent
enough to earn the University a
scathing review in a new guidebook to
the nation's universities. The book,
called A Black Student's Guide to
Colleges, rates Michigan as perhaps
the worst school in the country in race
relations. It sums up black-white
relations in Ann Arbor as "the pits."

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Solo
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By Jerry Brabenec
Nightfly
Donald Fagen
Warner Brothers
Catchy rhythms, sophisticated
arrangements, witty lyrics, and
flawless performances by czack studio
musicians-these characteristics have
distinguished the recent output of
keyboard/vocalist Donald Fagen and
guitarist/bassist Walter Becker, known
together as Steely Dan. Two-year lap-
ses have marked the releases of their
two most recent albums, Aja and
Gaucho, and by this timetable a new
album was due this fall.
Donald Fagen's solo album Nightfly
is the result, and Walter Becker is
conspicuously absent. At this point we
can only speculate about reasons for

Becker's absence; the band's poor
relations with MCA records and
Becker's recovery from the car ac-
cident that delayed the release of
Gaucho are probably relevant factors.
Producer Gary Katz and many of the
old crew of musicians are present on
Nightfly, so this newest album qualifies
as the newest Steely Dan release,
whatever the circumstances. Fagen
and Becker collectively still have a con-
tractual obligation for one more release
on MCA, so we can expect one more
real Steely Dan album, but Nightfly will
suffice for now.
This is a concept album, and a period
piece, as Fagen explains on the inner
sleeve, dealing with the fantasies of a
young man growing up "in the remote
suburbs of a northeastern city during
the late fifties and early sixties." The
arrangements are anything but dated,
with a couple of exceptions, but
significant clues in the lyrics place the
attitudes of the singer in the recent and
relevant past. The top-40 release from
Nightfly is entitled "I.G.Y.," for Inter-
national Geophysical Year. This Stevie
Wonderish reggae number is filled with
a sort of Sunday supplement futurism,
full of references to the stars and
stripes, technological marvels, and a

bright future.u .
Fagen is going for more than just
irony with lyrics like "by '76 we'll be
AOK," however; nostalgia and an ef-
fort to understand and utilize the op-
timism of the early sixties are present
here, as Fagen addresses the same
issues as Merle Haggard in his recent
hit, "Are the Good Times Really Over
for Good."
As always, Fagen's lyrics are like
scenes from a good movie: obvious and
evocative from the start, but full of
thought provoking'ambiguities on
repeated hearings. Instrumentally,
"I.G.Y." is a standard Steely Dan tune,
with trademark vocal and horn
arrangements and a harmonica solo
performed by Fagen on a skillfully
programmed synthesizer.
The lyrics to "New Frontier" are a
romantic corollary to the sunny post
atomic optimism documented in the
recent film "Atomic Cafe:" a fallout
shelter full of beer could be a great
place to make out, and Armaggedon a
great excuse. Fagen has his eyes on a
big blonde "with a touch of Tuesday
Weld," just the person for the sub-
terranean beer party he's planning "in
case the reds decide to push the but-
ton down." He woos her with Niet-

zehean vision
Let's preten
and stay tog
and when It
We'll open t
into the
Languid
Carlton (rei
from the then
ornament a ti
Emphasis
overshadow i
with nothing
guitar showc
Aja or the
from the titl
there's plenty
for thought, a
sunny, boyis
Beach Boys
Villains."
Whether ]
together agai
the dollars ar
may be in
hassle in the
Let's hope nc
Dan.

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1970: Promises, promises
HERE ARE A lot of things fresh-
men must learn about meals when
they arrive at their University dorm.
You have to bring your plate back if you
want seconds, you can't take food out of
the cafeteria, and you have to pick up a
new meal card sticker each month.
Often, however, one of the first
things freshmen learn is that dorm
cafeterias are perhaps the most
segragated places on campus. A casual
glance at most dorm meals shows that
most of the black students sit together
at a few tables while most of the white
students fill up the rest of the cafeteria.
It's not done out of malice, but merely
,through habit. In fact, students say, no
one thinks about it; when you go to eat
dinner, you sit with your friends. But
what it points out is that friendship here
don't often cross color lines.
And it's not just in the dorms. When
students arrive in Ann Arbor, they find
that a communications gap separates
blacks and whites at the University. In

academically weak high schools. To
move one fall day to Ann Arbor, where
common culture and academic deman-
ds are very different, can be a big
shock. It's easy for a black freshman to
feel a little overwhelmed in the sea of
white, middle class values at the
University.
"Blacks (in Ann Arbor) are en-
couraged-more so forced-to
assimilate, to try to understand the
white society. . . the dominant culture
is what we have to understand, the
white world," said minority advisor
Hutcherson.
"That's where the frustration comes
in," she said. "You want to keep your
own values, but there's pressure that
you can't succeed unless you conform
to white values."
Some blacks turn to black social
groups-whether they be fraternities,
sororities, or dorm groups-to escape
the constant pressure to adapt, to
change.

'There's racism here, but it isn't so ob-
vious. You feel intimidated, you have to be
aware some people don't like you because
of the color of your skin.'
-Gary Foster,
bacl student

"The Family" is one of the many
social groups that black students have
formed to help each other make is at
the University. It is also one of the most
successful.
Most of the black residents of Bur-
sley, the largest dormitory at the
University, belong to the Family.
Besides playing football together,
Family members often eat together,
study together, and hold parties
together. The Family even does what it
says the University is supposed to do
but doesn't: Each year it actively
recruits black high school students in
Detroit, urging them to come to the
University. Its success record in
bringing in new black students may
even surpass that of theUniversity's
admissions office.
In addition to what its leaders call
promoting "cultural awareness," the
Family plays a central role as a social
and academic network for North Cam-
pus blacks.
Through the Family-and other
campus groups like it-black upper-
classmen can teach black freshmen
how to opeate in and deal with a
University whose valuesd and social
structures may be almost completely
alien.
"This is the first generation of black
students to go to college," says Randy
Hayman, president of the Family.
"Theyadon't know how to use the
system. It (the Family) allows for a
base to help students understand the
system so they aren't overwhelmed by
it."
Another way black students cope with
a social environment they often con-
sider foreign is through the black Greek
system. The black fraternities and
sororities that grew up independently
of the white Greek system now fun-
ctions in many ways as the social cen-
ter for blacks on campus.
"When the black Greeks are not
throwing a party of social function, it's
a pretty boring city," .said Stephon
Johnson, president of the all-black
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. "Ann Ar-
bor is not boring, but blacks coming
from Detroit may want something that
makes them feel closer to home. The
black Greeks do play a large part in the
social life for blacks."

Sad
times

By C. E. Krell
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Bunny Wailer
Solomonic
I REALLY DON'T have the time,
but . . . Stop! Do your Homework!
No, no, no, no! I want to be happy.
Remember happiness? Went out with
the psychedelia tangerine-coated, can-
dy-flaked kool electric aid test of the
youth international partying between
the Eisenhower and Ford decades (this,
you realize, is the sixties (ooh ahh)).
Mr. Time Warp jumps ahead to the
mid-seventies. Happiness quickly on
the decline as semites of many tribes
get miffed ateach other constantly, and
black people start becoming normal.
Anyhoo, remember pre-"Fly, Robin
Fly" and "I Will Survive" radio music?
Some of the best of that was made by
black people. Ohio Players, Isleys, Kool
and the Gang B.C. (before
"Celebrate"), late-"Papa Was a Rollin'
Stone" Temp, EWF. (On cue Joseph
Jarmen proclaims "Great Black
Music!").
Ok, well, it was good anyway and
decidedly happy (remember happy,
that's what this review is about). Let's
not forget the Wailers brand of "No
kyaan be happy oh Jah, bring I and I
back to the land of our fathers." Jar-
men, often dogmatic, again says:
"Great Black Music!"
NevileLivingston, thanks for being in
that group, even though you left and
right became Bunny Wailer. (I won't
mention his compatriots, as I am

tasteless). You know that this Bunny
person has a voice that in many instan-
ces has had me flashback to the best
cheekbones I have known.
This is where things get sad. Voice
plus Roots Raddics (a studio group of
musicians that a West Quad Old
Milwaukeed geek would say "knows
their shit") equals the most consistent
reggae albums of the late seventies and
early ate-ies. Not Revolutionary (a joke
for those reggae buffs out there), but
consistently of the collie-highest
quality.
In I Father's House. Sings the
Wailers. Rock and Groove. Tribute.
Buy all these elpees because they are
better than a good fifty-three and five
eighths percent of any other reggae
albums you might waste your hard-
stolen money on.
Remember sad? I sad it gets sad, and
it hasn't yet. Here it comes.
The Raddics aren't on Hook, Line and
Sinker. Sob. If not for the accentuated
riddim section, this wouldn't be reggae-
like, and it's not particularly reggae or
reggae-like. I mean, I waited with
baited breath ("worm on tongue") for
this album.
(errata: I'm sorry to interrupt but
the pun of the year award has just been
given me, and I'd like to thank my
producer, my director, and the
Academy. I love you all.)
Sadness ends here. Remember hap-
piness? Present Arms. Stop. UB40 this
ain't. I defy you to be depressed while
listening to this album. I can do it, but
I'm not you. You can't. This is happy.
That voice is just so, so, so damn cherry
cheesecake wunderbar!
Think of a line of black men moving
from side to side, chanting, sweating,
laughing, jumping, thumping,

plucking, blowing, hitting. Jungle soul-
blasted happy good time jam up work
out.
Even the instruments are happy, so
it's not roots. I'll be simple and blunt.
Ready morons! This is easy: I like it. I
may like it more. Hey! I grew up with
stuff like this. Jarmen, get out of here
("Great Black Music, arrgh!"). See
future prints for Jarmen obit. This is
superior to James, Rick, and Band, the
Dazz, Gap the, et cetera.
I once wrote, "I haven't heard the

new Bunny W
ted to know w
bubble forth.
that. Bunny
phone booth a
"soul rebel."
of hold, happil
Remember
Those cheeki
always be hal
der-ed. But I'
Thank god for
for those chee

many ways it's like two very distinct
societies living side by side.
For a number of reasons, black and
white students don't often make an ef-
fort to bridge that gap.
As one black senior put it:
"Sometimes it is really hard for
minorities to get into the mainstream of
society here so they end up pulling back
into their own groups, and it's easy for
whites to ignore people they are uncom-
fortable with. So, rather than being in
an uncomfortable position, they
(whites) slide back to the people they
are comfortable with."
Most black students at the University
come from Detroit. Many come from

I T'S SUNDAY afternoon. For the
moment, the studies every student
worriesd about are forgotten to concen-
trate on the intramural football game
at hand. Both teams, warming up in
sweatshirts and gym shorts, are like
any other independent intramural
team-made up of a group{of friends
who got together to play ball.
The iembers of one team are all
residents of a South Quad dorm hall.
The members of the other team, all of
whom are black, call themselves "The
Crush." They also call themselves
members of a type of family-"the
Bursley Family."

Bunny Wailer: Hook, Line and Sinker

4 Weekend/October 22, 1982

13 ee

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