Our statement on the events of the last few weeks
This is an extraordinary moment in our history. We, the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, are proud to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter global movement for justice and accountability, to root out the systemic racism that has been embedded in American life for centuries. Similar crimes against marginalized people all over the world can no longer be ignored.
Music heals! Gospel music and the blues were the healing music, created by slaves, that gave strength and resilience to the oppressed. Jazz was born from both influences and was a forerunner to pop music, rap and popular dances, just as the blues was the primary source for rock & roll. Jazz is about freedom! The music encourages self-expression, in the moment, while being a collective effort of a harmonious shared experience between the individual, the group and, in live concerts, the audience.
In spite of a longtime legacy of racism and injustice, Black Americans have continued to make advances in human rights through courage and tenacity, never giving up the fight for equality, and have continually contributed as a major influence on American and world culture in music, dance, language, fashion and sports. Still Black Americans have consistently been subject to poverty, inadequate schooling, insufficient health coverage, racism, and the fatal abuses of civil rights by the very people whose role is to protect us…all of us.
We are enlightened to see young people from all sectors and races recognizing these social justice abuses and leading the fight toward correcting them and rooting out the barriers to equality at their core.
We, at the Institute, stand firmly united with these efforts to finally make America truly the land of the free.
The Board of Trustees & Staff
Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz