While the previous class in this module on rhythm in communities considered the ways in which rhythm both holds people together and keeps them apart, this class examined some of the ways in which rhythm is deployed for both for the purpose of holding people together and for the purpose of breaking up entrenched systems. These two functions are not completely separate from one another. Rhythm is often used to hold people together for the purpose of protest, and as such breaking up entrenched systems also seems to work more effectively when people unify around a common beat.
These two sides of the process of social organization are represented by two forms, particularly visible in the history of African American communities. One is the function and power of speeches, specifically those of Martin Luther King Jr. The other is the process of improvisation. Continue reading “Module 3, Class 2: Strategic Deployments of Rhythm for Social Change”