By Levitt D A
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Additional info for A representation of musical dialects (PHD thesis)
Unions were only just beginning to acknowledge Black workers, the government had mobilised against Black migrants with an immigration bill, and the late 1950s had witnessed rioting in London and Nottingham in response to racist attacks on West Indian communities. In response, church life in the late 1960s and 1970s was multivariate: spiritual, socio-economic and cultural. We met not only to worship God, but also to share hospitality, information and material resources and to provide ideological support in matters of domestic and social conﬂict.
39 Despite the creation of a Welfare State in the late 1940s that had begun the process of ameliorating disadvantages in health care and employment, Britain, nearing the end of its Empire, was still a highly-stratiﬁed class society, Diasporic dialogue 39 based on birth, status and education. Hence, for the West Indian immigrant entrance into colonial Britain at the end of Empire was blighted by the double jeopardy of ‘race’40 and class discrimination. 41 In housing, there was an acute shortage due to extensive war damage in large cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham.
And it is because of these historical continuities that, as a young Pentecostal boy, I was able to feel at home with some of the sonic dominance, expressive physicality and the orality of performance in the dancehall from my location within the African Caribbean church. What was new to my young ears, though, was the DJ’s use of music and lyrics as social commentary. Politicisation of sound The explicit politicisation of sound was not present in my church context. Political expression within the church in which I was raised, like most ﬂedgling African Caribbean church traditions of the 1960s and 1970s, was at best subliminal and expressed within the framework of implicit theology.