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British ethnomusicology in the #BlackLivesMatter era: some (auto-ethnographic) reflections
Ethnomusicology Forum  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-13, DOI: 10.1080/17411912.2021.1947147


Since the death of George Perry Floyd, Jr. (1973–2020), the British Forum for Ethnomusicology has engaged in some intense corporate reflexivity. Since the appointment of the author and other new colleagues to a BFE EDI Working Group, the issues raised by Dr Danielle Brown’s open letter (2020) have led the author to the critical question of how the BFE can learn from the challenges faced by the Diversity Action Group within the Society for Ethnomusicology. Brown’s letter addressed issues that are both universally applicable throughout the English-speaking West but also peculiar to North America, not least by virtue of the fact that at this time of writing the author is not aware of any other b/Black members (active, silent or otherwise) of the BFE – and there are no b/Black academic musicians who are employed to teach this discipline in any of the UK’s tertiary institutions. These brief auto-ethnographic reflections situate the reflexive identity of the author as a black ethnomusicology researcher at the heart of questions and challenges faced in both British ethnomusicology and cognate disciplines, not least with regard to the challenge of how the legacy of modernity continues to shape the lived experienced of ethnic minority communities.