Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Blogging as a Tool for Activism

See anything questionable about the cover art shown below?

It is the cover art used on a new CD released by the label Calliope of music by the Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799). If you are at all disturbed by this depiction of a musician of African heritage, please read William Zick’s recent post on why this cover art might not be in the best taste. (William Zick is the publisher and webmaster of AfriClassical, a great site I wrote about recently. He also just started the AfriClassical blog, which I think presents a unique opportunity for the advancement of musicians of African descent.)

You can read the email I wrote to Harmonia Mundi USA (the US distributor for Calliope) by clicking here. (Mr. Zick was kind enough to present my letter on his blog.) Maybe others would also like to write a letter of concern to Harmonia Mundi? Their email is

(My suggestion would be to keep letters respectful and polite. Since I am anti-censorship, I hasten to add that Harmonia Mundi/Calliope has a right to use whatever cover art they want. But they might want to think more carefully about the consequences this art choice could unintentionally generate.)

UPDATE 7/29/07: Check out the valuable, wide-ranging, and honest discussion about this cover art at On An Overgrown Path. (Yes, as you might expect, yours truly wrote one of the comments there.)