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December 03, 2012


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Thanks so much for your site, Susan. It's evident how much time, effort and love you put into it. The problem of performing historical music with racist and sexist lyrics is a thorny one and I understand your thoughtful concerns. I'm not sure that censoring the objectionable material is the way to go, though. I feel censorship of any kind is dangerous. Some times it's better to leave the material in to provoke discussion and better understanding of any period; doing that also sets the dances in a richer, more complex and more realistic social milieu. Again, it's a personal choice that all historians have to make; there's no absolute right or wrong. Cheers.

Hi Bob,

I don't think of not playing these songs as censorship, which I consider to be some sort of officially imposed policy. Obviously no one is censoring the band; they made the recording and are selling it and I would not suggest any sort of restriction on this. But I cannot even imagine playing a recording with racial slurs for my dancers.

Fortunately, eleven out of fourteen tracks have no problems that way.

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