A group of Black teachers from all levels of music education founded an organization in 1975 to counter the racist practices they experienced in the field of music education. That organization, the Black Music Educators of the Twin Cities (BMETC), sought to support Black students’ aspirations, provide professional development for teachers, to provide representation of Black role models, to provide documentation of Black contributions in the music and music education, and to encourage the performance of compositions by composers of African descent. Over its 20-year history, BMETC produced human capital in the form of knowledge, research, compositions, and performances. Unique structural capital syncretized western European and African-American elements that merged sacred and secular elements. This capital also provided vehicles through which its adult and youth members developed skills in performance, education, scholarship, and leadership. Customer capital developed through personal and professional relationships offered mentorship experiences, inspiration, financial and emotional support. The purpose of this study is to (a) fill gaps in music education history; (b) render visible the contributions of African American music and educators in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; and (c) to discover the legacy, influence and impact of BMETC through an investigation of the organization’s intellectual capital. Beyond filling gaps in music education history, this study is significant as it provides documentation that counters status quo perception and literature and highlights the importance of Black teachers as positive role models. Further, this study responds to continuing racist perspectives that diminish Black contributions in Western Art music and in the field of music education. The researcher employed archival and historical research methods to document the history of BMETC and to identify intellectual capital. The tenets of interest convergence and counter-storytelling from theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory were used to discover impacts of race on the types of intellectual capital produced and to answer questions regarding the organization’s cessation of regular activities. The primary research questions addressed by the dissertation surround two main topics: BMETC’s history and its place in the lineage of All-Black volunteer organizations and the legacy, influence and impact of BMETC’s intellectual capital. The study concluded that BMETC was centered in and continued a legacy of All-Black volunteer organizations that formed to counter institutional and systemic racism challenge mainstream perceptions and practices. BMETC members acted as change agents, challenging status quo perceptions, behaviors, and institutional praxis. Though their activities slowed significantly in the late 1990s, BMETC’s legacy is evidenced in the activities of retired former members who continue to volunteer and positively affect the world and in the numbers of former youth and junior members who continue to participate as new generations of performers and teachers or who contribute in fields outside of music. The impact and influence of BMETC is also evident in the progress made toward diversity during BMETC’s active years but even more so in lack of continued progress toward dismantling systemic institutional racism, since the cessation of regular activities. The Black Music Educators of the Twin Cities (BMETC) was successful in many ways. It provided services that filled the unfulfilled needs of Black music teachers and students. Through BMETC, adult members found opportunities to perform, share their scholarship, and to increase their leadership skills. Children and youth received financial support for private music lessons, mentorship and role models of successful, professional performers, composers, and teachers.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2017. Major: Music. Advisor: Akosua O. Addo. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 308 pages.
The Intellectual Capital of the Black Music Educators of the Twin Cities (1974 – 1994).
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