The New ‘Phenomenon’ of Rap

TBR

In a 20/20 report from 1981 ABC correspondent Steve Fox investigates a new “phenomenon” of “sexy, energetic music” that’s “from the street, heard on the streets.” Instead of ridicule or criticism for the new style of music now known as rap, Fox dives into its historical origins—citing everything from the call-and-response tradition of Black churches to the hypnotic funk of iconic 60′s soul singer James Brown.

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Music On The Brain

TBR

According to a new study learning to sing or play a musical instrument can help strengthen reading and language skills among disadvantaged children. The research, which involved hundreds of kids in Chicago and Los Angeles public schools, sheds light the effect music has on the brain.

“While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap.”

A recent TED-ED Talk explores another aspect of how music works on the brain, this time through the “exposure effect.”

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Ferguson

TBR

A man or woman who, for example, has attained the position of vice admiral within the United States Navy would not show up at an employee meeting in the backroom of McDonald’s with an expectation of full attention and a salute. He or she would lack such an expectation out of an awareness of context. It’s not that the admiral would be undeserving of the type of respect demonstrated with attention and a salute, it’s just that an expectation for that particular display would be irrational at a McDonald’s.

The police officers of Ferguson, MO do not seem to recognize themselves as members of the community they serve. A reason for this may be in part because the community itself is two-thirds African American while the force is over 90% white. Another, and more important reason, for why the Ferguson police department behaved like an occupying army within the tree-lined streets of its quiet St. Louis suburb is this: they have been armed with tactics and weapons to do precisely that exact thing.

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