At the invitation of Dr. La Toro Yates, Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management at Hostos, Dr. George White, Jr., Interim Professor and Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences at York College, gave an engaging and timely virtual presentation on the intersection of music and social movements and perspectives.

Diana Kreymer, Executive Chief of Staff, helped kick off the event, delivering remarks on behalf of Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. “February is Black History Month, affording us all the opportunity to reflect on and to honor the many contributions made by African Americans over the course of our nation’s history,” she said. “Those contributions cover every conceivable field, activity, and discipline. From science to government, from the arts to economics, from agriculture to astrophysics and beyond, Black Americans have distinguished themselves. Their ideas, inventions, and actions have enriched this country — and the world.”

Inspired by a blog post he’d published on “The Blerdy Report,” titled “One Nation Under A Social Justice Groove!,” White’s discussion examined how music created by Black artists has historically and continues to reflect the social and political movements of the time in which it is created. In his post, published in June 2020, White wrote about the protests against racial injustice that were taking place at the time, in addition to the global pandemic, interspersing lyrics from Parliament-Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under Groove” throughout and issuing a call to action.

During the lecture, White explained that he sees the “groove” mentioned in the song as a “guiding heartbeat of people who are marginalized — whether you’re marginalized because of race or gender, because of sexual orientation, because of citizenship status, it’s that heartbeat that’s propelling all of us and that groove provides us with a vision for a different type of America.”

He continued: “And so, the call to action is to continue — continue to try and build that different type of America.”
White also discussed other Black artists whose work inspires discourse, movements, and change.

Watch the full program
One Nation Under A Social Justice Groove