Nikita Gale and Alexander Provan are joined by Harmony Holiday, a writer, archivist, and dancer who lives in Los Angeles. Holiday, whose essay “The Black Catatonic Scream” was published by Triple Canopy last year, speaks about Black performers whose songs and struggles reflect the ongoing trauma of the “African holocaust.” She links the history of Black music—and instances of performers becoming silent or speechless—to the legacy of enslavement and segregation, when Black people “were smiling and dancing to not get killed.” With Gale and Provan, she discusses the pressure to pander to white audiences as well as the impulse to seek a form of expression (and of being) that is chosen and not imposed by force. They listen to songs written and recorded by her father, Jimmy Holiday, as well as to Albert Ayler, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Amiri Baraka, and Kanye West.

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