“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin, “As Much Truth as One Can Bear”
Hello. My name in Phil Ewell and this is my blog, which I launched in order to seek racial, gender, and social justice in the field of music theory. Everyone in my field knows that it is unremittingly white and male, but once I began to understand how whiteness and maleness work in tandem to suppress nonwhiteness and nonmaleness, both subconsciously and consciously, I began to do the academic work in order to expose this unjust side of music theory so that we might begin the process of deconstructing our white-male structures. I now consider myself an activist in the field, one who advocates for change by exposing how existing white-male power structures suppress marginalized voices, and by pressing for the necessary changes so that all voices in music theory can be heard. I was honored and humbled to be recently named the “Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow” of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2020–2021 for my race and feminist scholarship in music theory. During this academic year I will be working on a monograph addressing these issues. To learn more about me and my career, visit my personal website.
“I was conditioned by my art history professors to believe that only the work of white people mattered. I engaged a mainstream art world—museums, galleries, collectors, and publishers—that viewed artists of color as sentimental or irrelevant at best, but more often as inept and dull. I eventually accepted these racist myths, even as I continued to live in the projects. But I also experienced another awakening: I learned how to see.”–Maurice Berger, “Using Photography to Tell Stories About Race“
“In the cause of silence, each of us draws the face of her own fear—fear of contempt, of censure, or some judgment, or recognition, of challenge, of annihilation. But most of all, I think, we fear the visibility without which we cannot truly live. Within this country where racial difference creates a constant, if unspoken, distortion of vision, Black women have on one hand always been highly visible, and so, on the other hand, have been rendered invisible through the depersonalization of racism.”–Audre Lorde, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action“
“Only racists say they are not racist. Only the racist lives by the heartbeat of denial. The antiracist lives by the opposite heartbeat, one that rarely and irregularly sounds in America—the heartbeat of confession.”–Ibram X. Kendi, “The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial“