BLACK NDNS

BLACK NDNs. "If you know I have a history, you will respect me."

Oscar Pettiford Jazz Band - “Blues in the Closet”

Recorded: Oakland Auditorium, Oakland , California June 27, 1953

Musicians: Oscar Pettiford (Cherokee, Choctaw, African American)- Cello; Harry Babasin - Cello; Arnold Ross - Piano; Joe Comfort - Bass; Alvin Stoller- Drums

Oscar Pettiford (Cherokee, Choctaw, African American)

NPR Jazz Profiles - Oscar Pettiford: Bass Beyond Bop 
January 30, 2008
One of the giants of the double bass, Oscar Pettiford was known for  his fine tone, the clarity of his attack, and the melody of his line. A  successor to Jimmy Blanton and a contemporary of Red Callender and  Charles Mingus, Pettiford was among the most sought-after musicians in  jazz. During his short life, Pettiford distinguished himself as a  performer, composer, and bandleader.
Born in  1922 on an Indian reservation in Okmulgee, Okla., Pettiford grew up  around music — his father headed the family band, and his mother played  the piano and taught music. Even at a young age, “OP,” as he was called  by friends, was a talent to be reckoned with. By age 10, Pettiford was  singing in front of the family band.  By 14, he was playing the bass,  and his burgeoning skill would soon change the way the bass was heard  and played.
During the early ’40s, Jimmy  Blanton, Duke Ellington’s nimble bassist, was redefining the role of the  bass in jazz. Blanton and fellow bassist Milt Hinton were both major  influences on Pettiford.  Once, while living in Minneapolis, Pettiford  quit the bass for a steady job, but Hinton convinced him to stay with  it.  Just months later, he was hired by saxophone-playing bandleader  Charlie Barnet. [READ MORE]

A free download of this podcast is available at the NPR website.

Oscar Pettiford (Cherokee, Choctaw, African American)

NPR Jazz Profiles - Oscar Pettiford: Bass Beyond Bop 

January 30, 2008

One of the giants of the double bass, Oscar Pettiford was known for his fine tone, the clarity of his attack, and the melody of his line. A successor to Jimmy Blanton and a contemporary of Red Callender and Charles Mingus, Pettiford was among the most sought-after musicians in jazz. During his short life, Pettiford distinguished himself as a performer, composer, and bandleader.

Born in 1922 on an Indian reservation in Okmulgee, Okla., Pettiford grew up around music — his father headed the family band, and his mother played the piano and taught music. Even at a young age, “OP,” as he was called by friends, was a talent to be reckoned with. By age 10, Pettiford was singing in front of the family band. By 14, he was playing the bass, and his burgeoning skill would soon change the way the bass was heard and played.

During the early ’40s, Jimmy Blanton, Duke Ellington’s nimble bassist, was redefining the role of the bass in jazz. Blanton and fellow bassist Milt Hinton were both major influences on Pettiford. Once, while living in Minneapolis, Pettiford quit the bass for a steady job, but Hinton convinced him to stay with it. Just months later, he was hired by saxophone-playing bandleader Charlie Barnet. [READ MORE]

A free download of this podcast is available at the NPR website.


Forcibly removed from their homes in the late 1830s, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians brought their African-descended slaves with them along the Trail of Tears and resettled in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Celia E. Naylor vividly charts the experiences of enslaved and free African Cherokees from the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma’s entry into the Union in 1907. Carefully extracting the voices of former slaves from interviews and mining a range of sources in Oklahoma, she creates an engaging narrative of the composite lives of African Cherokees. Naylor explores how slaves connected with Indian communities not only through Indian customs—language, clothing, and food—but also through bonds of kinship. 
Examining this intricate and emotionally charged history, Naylor demonstrates that the “red over black” relationship was no more benign than “white over black.” She presents new angles to traditional understandings of slave resistance and counters previous romanticized ideas of slavery in the Cherokee Nation. She also challenges contemporary racial and cultural conceptions of African-descended people in the United States. Naylor reveals how black Cherokee identities evolved reflecting complex notions about race, culture, “blood,” kinship, and nationality. Indeed, Cherokee freedpeople’s struggle for recognition and equal rights that began in the nineteenth century continues even today in Oklahoma.

Excerpt available online.

Forcibly removed from their homes in the late 1830s, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians brought their African-descended slaves with them along the Trail of Tears and resettled in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Celia E. Naylor vividly charts the experiences of enslaved and free African Cherokees from the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma’s entry into the Union in 1907. Carefully extracting the voices of former slaves from interviews and mining a range of sources in Oklahoma, she creates an engaging narrative of the composite lives of African Cherokees. Naylor explores how slaves connected with Indian communities not only through Indian customs—language, clothing, and food—but also through bonds of kinship. 

Examining this intricate and emotionally charged history, Naylor demonstrates that the “red over black” relationship was no more benign than “white over black.” She presents new angles to traditional understandings of slave resistance and counters previous romanticized ideas of slavery in the Cherokee Nation. She also challenges contemporary racial and cultural conceptions of African-descended people in the United States. Naylor reveals how black Cherokee identities evolved reflecting complex notions about race, culture, “blood,” kinship, and nationality. Indeed, Cherokee freedpeople’s struggle for recognition and equal rights that began in the nineteenth century continues even today in Oklahoma.

Excerpt available online.

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