Black Rock Coaltion : An Interview With Bruce Mack


The Black Rock Coalition is a very important organization that assists African American alternative musicians to get the respect and to have the right to express themselves without bias. That’s it in a nut shell but being the person that I am we will go a little deeper into what this means and intoduce you to a wonderful person at the same time.
First the man. Bruce Mack based in New York is an instructor, an instrumentalist a vocalist and he was president of The Black Rock Coalition from 1991-2001. He is also a keyboardist and conductor as well as vocalists for Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber since 1999 to present. It is not hard to see that this gifted, talented man wears many hats in the music industry. He is well known in the business for his many skills as a paraprofessional musician and educator. His work for the BRC aka the Black Rock Coalition is most interesting. It is one of the many things he still is passionate about and I picked up on that vibe during our conversation.
Now the reason I wanted to talk about this organization is because it is an important one. It seems like everywhere we turn Black people have to fight or work harder to show our worth and to defend our dignity and legacy. Rock music is our legacy. Rock music comes from the church it is mixed with rhythm and blues with country music creating a blend of sound that is like no other. This magical elixir draws people from all walks of life as well as many cultures. The BRC helps to do this: Co founded in New York city by Vernon Reid of the band Living Color, they represent a united front to support African-American alternative musicians to express themselves in the same way as their Caucasian artists that perform the same music. They want to have the same respect, get the same pay, have the same representation on the charts get the same air play have access to the same fan base without bias. This organization also helps with educational resources and support for the professional musician and for the community as a whole. To get their message across to the public and musicians alike the offer seminars and library resources just to name a couple of outlets that are available. They also provide archive service for performances done by these alternative musicians. Their other goal is to expose racism and biases in the industry towards these musicians that don’t fit the stereo type of what a black musician should be. I wholeheartedly support what this organization stands for. Our legacy in music needs to be protected and taught so the generations after this one can keep the torch burning.
All musicians no matter the race should be paid fairly and perform without being hated on or disrespected. Music is supposed to be the great equalizer…until that really becomes the reality we will need organizations like the BRC to make sure it happens. If you would like to know more about the Black Rock Coalition go to their website for more information on their mission music projects and more.

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