Neighborly Music stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It is impossible to talk about the assault on Black and Indigenous lives in our country without recognizing that this oppression has served white musicians that play traditional American music. As a white student and teacher of old-time music and banjo in particular, it is important to acknowledge the attempted erasure and exploitation of Black musicians’ contributions to this genre.

I am committed to fighting for justice and the end of white supremacy. I will continue to examine my teaching and curriculum. We should question the history we have been taught, acknowledge when certain songs need to go, and listen to and amplify the voices that have been erased or obscured.

I am donating a portion of all my banjo teaching the Black Lives Matter movement. Here are some national organizations I support that are fighting forracial equity and I encourage you to support them as well: Black Lives MatterThe Bail ProjectDream Defenders. And local organizations Don’t Shoot PDXBlack Resilience Fund, and Unite OregonWa Na Wari (Seattle). Check out and support these Black traditional musicians: Black Banjo Reclamation ProjectRhiannon GiddensOur Native DaughtersBen Hunter and Joe Seamons, and Jake Blount. Let’s take action in support of Black lives!

In solidarity,