Monday, April 13, 2015

I Journeyed Down An Unpaved Road

Submitted by Doris Green - April 13, 2015

The fight for equality begins at birth. I say this because as a youngster I realized that girls were not given the same opportunities as boys. This annoyed me to the point that I challenged them in their own arena, the sports. I was a superb athlete and could beat any boy in the neighborhood. I did not believe that the roles that defined girls and later women were fair nor did it challenge the mind. Therefore I was determined to separate myself from the pack.

In the field of music and dance I discovered that I could do something that no one had done before. This was to create a system whereby music of percussion instruments could be written on paper, thus preserving them and giving them perpetuity. Someone told me that oil vats could make music and I did not believe them until I met Rudy King, the first person to bring the Steel Pan to Brooklyn. I was immediately drawn to it. Years Later I was invited by Priscilla Taylor to write a magazine "Steel Bands of New York" that would tell the story of Steel Band men. In honor of Women's Month, the Steel Band Association recognized my achievements in music and dance with this write up. Today the fight for equality is still an issue as women still make less than a man for the same work. Therefore the struggle continues.

People reading this write up will notice my skills of percussion notation through the creation of Greenotation. When I wrote my first drum sounds, I had no idea where this unpaved road would lead. Not only was I able to align the accompanying dance movement through Labanotation creating integrated scores of African music and dance that returns the scientific basis to African music and dance that it had before much of it was lost during the middle passage. With my work African music/dance is no longer an oral tradition but is on the road to perpetuity. The mind of a woman should never be taken for granted.

[The Steel Band write-up can be found at]: 

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