Methodist Episcopal Church:
American Protestant denomination whose initial progress in ministering
to black Americans was thwarted by segregationist policies. The term
Methodist originated as a nickname applied to a group of 18th- century
Oxford University students known for their methodical application to
Scripture study and prayer. The nation's principal Methodist body is the
United Methodist Church, which was formed in 1968 by the merger of the
Methodist Church and Evangelical United Brethren Church. It has 10
million members. The three major black denominations are African
Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. (See African Methodist Episcopal
Church and African Methodist Episcopal Zion.)
Middle Passage, The: The
transatlantic voyages between Africa and the Americas that claimed the
lives of approximately 1.8 million African slaves over a period of about
350 years. An estimated 12 million slaves were packed into slave
quarters in the belly of ships. (See slavery.)
militant: Commonly used to
describe an aggressive activist working for a cause; a person eager to
engage in a struggle to achieve his or her goal; can be used to mean any
individual engaged in warfare, a fight, combat, or generally serving as
a solider. A militant view sometimes constitutes an extremists
position. A militant state denotes being in a physically aggressive
posture supporting an ideology or cause. Should not be used in place of
terrorist. Militant is deemed to be a neutral term, whereas terrorist
indicates reprehensible behavior by an individual or organization
regardless of the motivations. Avoid using to describe a black person
who is simply hostile, belligerent or controversial.
Million Man March: Washington
rally held on Oct. 16, 1995, and organized by Nation of Islam leader
Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Benjamin Chavis to draw attention to the
social conditions to black men and to urge them to assume control over
their lives. Some reports say approximately 900,000 black men
congregated on the Washington Mall; march organizers say over a million
men were there.
Million Woman March: Philadelphia
march and rally held on Oct. 25, 1997, and organized by community
activists Asia Coney and Phile Chionesu and seeking to build coalitions
within the black community. An estimated 1.5 million black women
gathered on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the event.
minister: Clergy member; pastor;
person authorized to conduct religious worship or administer sacraments.
Not a formal title. Do not use before a clergy members name. Nation of
Islam followers and others often refer to Louis Farrakhan as Minister
Farrakhan. (See Nation of Islam.) Avoid this title in news copy; better
to say Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on first reference and
then Farrakhan on subsequent references.
minority, minorities: Group or
groups differing especially in race, religion or ethnicity from the
majority of a population. Collective when used as a noun. Does not refer
to an individual, so avoid such phrases as: There are three minorities
on the council. Also: Women do not constitute a minority, although they
may be linked with minorities in various civil-rights contexts. Avoid
saying, for example, the program is designed to encourage the
representation of minorities if it also encourages the representation of
women. Better to say the program is designed to encourage the
representation of women and minorities. A better alternative is people
of color when referring to a group. (See people of color.)
mixed: Sometimes used to describe a person who is biracial. Avoid the term in this context. (See biracial.)
Montgomery bus boycott: Yearlong
protest in the Alabama city that galvanized the civil-rights movement
and led to the 1956 Supreme Court decision declaring segregated seating
on buses unconstitutional. (See civil-rights movement.)
Motown: Formerly black-owned
record company that became the most commercially successful and
culturally influential of the 1960s, producing a distinct musical style
and many singing icons. Motown Records is now part of the Universal
Music Group. Can also be used as an adjective to describe the musical
style or city in which it originated, Detroit.
mudcloth: Handmade African textile
made of cotton originated centuries ago by women of Mali, West Africa.
Mudcloth is an authentic traditional art form. The cloth is dyed in a
tea of leaves and barks, then painted with mud and used for decorative
purposes and garments.
|blues, the - Music originating in
late 19th century that connoted both an emotional state and musical
format. Emerged during troubled times of the post-Reconstruction South
when Southern blacks experienced disfranchisement, oppression and
violence. During the 20th century, the blues became the worlds most
familiar musical form through its role in rhythm and blues (R&B) and
early rock n roll.
calypso - African-Caribbean music
combining syncopated phrasing and orchestration, which often includes
guitars, maracas, brass and wind instruments, drums and steel drums
(originally modified oil drums). The lyrics are frequently improvised
and usually address current events or social concerns; folk music
primarily from Trinidad.
gospel - Arising out of 20th
century black culture, a music style that builds upon the long-standing
traditions of black religious expression, incorporating joyous songs of
celebration and worship.
hip-hop - Urban music that
emerged in the late 1970s. An African-American musical innovation that
blends classic R&B, pop and rap music. Hip-hop is a catchall term
for rap and the culture it spawned. (See rap.)
jazz - Music of the 20th century
characterized by improvisation, a distinctive rhythmic approach called
swing and an expectation that each musician achieve a unique, individual
sound. Jazz includes such styles as swing, big band, bebop, cool, hard
bop, free jazz and contemporary acid jazz.
rap - Music of rhyming lyrics
spoken rhythmically over musical instruments, often with a backdrop of
sampling, scratching and mixing by DJs. Originally, rapping was called
MCing and seen as supporting the DJ. Sampling involves reusing a portion
of a recording as an element in a new recording. Scratching involves
using your hand to move a vinyl record back and forth while it plays on a
turntable, creating a distinctive sound.
R&B, rhythm and blues -
Musical style evolving from the blues and laying groundwork for rock n
roll. R&B developed after World War II and reflected the growing
confidence of urban blacks. It broke through racial barriers, achieving
unprecedented recognition in U.S. popular culture. R&B kept the pace
and the drive of up-tempo blues, but its instrumentation was sparer and
emphasis was on song, not improvisation.
reggae - African-Caribbean music
originating in Jamaica that blends blues, calypso and rock n roll, and
is characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and lyrics of social
soul - Music influenced by gospel
and which emerged in the 1960s from R&B. The music, funkier and
looser than the driving rhythms of R&B, gained popularity with songs
that addressed social issues and black pride.
spirituals - Songs of religious
expression of slaves that often had a double purpose. While retelling
the stories of the bible, the lyrics also allowed the slaves to secretly
communicate plans for escape.
mulatto: A person who has a
white parent and a black parent. Avoid using term; considered to be
insensitive. Better to use biracial. (See biracial.)