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Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?

 
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User ID: 3663
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02/13/2006 10:04 PM
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Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
I've heard this classic rock song for most of my life and never had any idea that some would think it was racist. I don't even know what they actually say in the song, other than Whoa Black Betty, Bam-ba-lam!


[link to www.concordmonitor.com]

No more bam-ba-lam


By MELANIE ASMAR
Monitor staff


-------------------------------------------------------------​-------------------
February 11. 2006 8:00AM


There's no more "Black Betty" at University of New Hampshire hockey games. Bam-ba-lam.

The 1977 clap-along song by one-hit-wonder Ram Jam has been banned because it's "theoretically racist," UNH Athletic Director Marty Scarano told the school's student newspaper, The New Hampshire.

Purportedly a 20th-century African-American work song, the Ram Jam cover version was boycotted 30 years ago by the NAACP, which claimed its lyrics were offensive to black women.

Played after a song called "Life is Life," whose chorus is punctuated with na-na-na-na-nas,"Black Betty," recognizable by its whoas and bam-ba-lams, has played at the beginning of the second and third periods of UNH hockey games for more than a decade, according to a school website.

Scarano did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.

UNH has received complaints about the song through the years, The New Hampshire reported, including one from the NAACP. In 2004, a student group charged with studying diversity at the school called for its ban. But Scarano said a more recent complaint pushed him to outlaw its play, though he didn't say where it came from.

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Noah Smith, media relations director for the Hockey East Association, the 10-team league to which UNH belongs, said the association also heard objections to "Black Betty" in the past. He said association members had "a couple of discussions" with UNH officials and decided the song was "probably inappropriate."
But Hockey East can't force UNH, or any other school, to knock "Black Betty" off its playlist. Colleges must make that decision on their own, Smith said. The song reportedly hasn't played at a UNH hockey game since the end of December.

On campus, students' reactionsrange from indifferent to mildly annoyed to seriously ticked. Some have printed SAVE BLACK BETTY T-shirts and banners to wear to home games. Others started a website called FreeBlackBetty.com. Freshman Ryan Leach, who formed a similar group on the popular online college site Facebook.com, signed a recent e-mail "Ryan Leach, Save Black Betty Chairman."

"The true fight has not yet been seen," he wrote.

But senior Kelly Vogel said she hadn't seen or heard anything about it until a story appeared in The New Hampshire soon after students returned from winter break Jan. 24. People talked about it for a few days, she said, but then the hype died down.

"I haven't seen any rallies or anything," Vogel said.

Most students interviewed said they didn't realize the song was offensive.

"It's just a pump-up song,"sophomore Brittany Clement said. "I never knew about the lyrics because I just associated it with hockey."

Most didn't agree with the ban, either. Sophomore Matt Connors, head of the Wild-Ice-Cats, the UNH hockey fan club, was at the UNH game against Vermont on Jan. 6, the first time AC/DC's "Thunderstruck"was subbed for "Black Betty." He said he's disappointed that the song has been ousted and he's tried to contact athletics officials to suggest playing the song without the lyrics.

But even after students said they read the lyrics, many said they didn't see the harm.

"I think it's people being overly offended," said senior Matt Guimond.

Senior Stefanie Hauck and junior Ola Akinwumi view it differently, though. As members of UNH's Black Student Union, they said the song was written at a time when African-Americans were considered inferior, and times have changed. They also take issue with the fact that students on a campus that's 95 percent white have embraced "Black Betty" as a sports song when neither athletics, nor hockey, have anything to do with its meaning.

"If you look at it, basically the whole audience at these games is Caucasian," Hauck said. "For them to be singing a song like 'Black Betty,' it doesn't make sense. It is kind of derogatory."

Sophomore Miranda Fillebrown said while she's not particularly put off by the song, she's disheartened that some students are riled up about its demise.

"It's ridiculous," Fillebrown said. "College campuses are known for liberalism and rallying, and this is what they want to fight for?"

But freshmen Dan Willey and T.J. Bahtsevanos understand the battle, even if they're not part of the offensive. "Thunderstruck," is a poor substitute, they said. They want Betty back.

"When you don't hear it, it's just not the same feel," Willey said.

Connors agreed.

"We're big into tradition," he said. "Especially about hockey."
andy thomas
User ID: 72993
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02/13/2006 10:20 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
the version i heard was by 'black oak arkansas'

i did my own version but never got past the 'whoah black bettie (page)... danga lang'

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Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:18 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
bump
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:21 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Isn't black betty somekind of apple desert or something? have never heard the song you're referring to.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:21 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
That's fucking retarded.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:21 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Isn't black betty somekind of apple desert or something? have never heard the song you're referring to.
 Quoting: Mothball


brew!

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01/07/2011 09:22 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Isn't black betty somekind of apple desert or something? have never heard the song you're referring to.
 Quoting: Mothball

apple brown betty,maybe?...also racist
:minimoran:~in mundo,sed non de mundo~
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:25 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Isn't black betty somekind of apple desert or something? have never heard the song you're referring to.



 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1219865



Here's the original. It's not racist because the guy singing is black.
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 09:26 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
It's still sexist though.
germanbini

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01/07/2011 09:29 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
It's racist because the woman named 'Betty' is described as 'black?' yeahsure

whoa, black betty (bam-A-lam)
whoa, black betty (bam-A-lam)
Black betty had a child (bam-A-lam)
The damn thing gone wild (bam-A-lam)
She said "I'm worrin' outta my mind" (bam-A-lam)
The damn thing gone blind (bam-A-lam)
I said oh black betty (bam-A-lam)
whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)


whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
She really gets me high (bam-BA-lam)
You know that's no lie (bam-BA-lam)
She's so rock steady (bam-BA-lam)
She's always ready (bam-BA-lam)

whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)


Whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
Whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
She's from birmingham (bam-BA-lam)
Way down in alabam' (bam-BA-lam)
Well' shes shakin' that thing (bam-BA-lam)
Boy she makes me sing (bam-BA-lam)
Whoa, black betty (bam-BA-lam)
Whoa, black betty
BAM-BA-LAM


[ From: [link to www.metrolyrics.com] ]


Now, granted, the song doesn't have anything to do with sports, but "Woah, African-American Betty" just wouldn't have the same beat.
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Kennethmd

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01/07/2011 10:03 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
jerm

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01/07/2011 10:10 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Can't give it up - I love the drum break too much!
Damn the political correctness!
Why did they have to over analyze it and ruin it for everyone?
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maryjaneshusband

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01/07/2011 10:12 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
The Chiefs play it at their home games.
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Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:23 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
one of Spiderbaits versions..

Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:24 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
one of Spiderbaits versions..


 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1221068

awesome
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:31 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Isn't black betty somekind of apple desert or something? have never heard the song you're referring to.






Here's the original. It's not racist because the guy singing is black.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 894470


so this must mean that blacks are not allowed to sing "white" songs either, right?

the whole thing is stupid

maybe "black betty" is a dog or a horse

I have a black dog and we often call him "black ass" (like jack ass) am I a racist or just funny?
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:34 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
I wouldnt think leadbelly would do a racist song.He is credited with the original song. Long live Huddie ledbetter
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:37 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 10:45 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 11:00 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?


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Anonymous Coward
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01/07/2011 11:04 PM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
The Chiefs play it at their home games.
 Quoting: maryjaneshusband


Yankees too, famous "rally" song.
Uncle Rico
User ID: 1222080
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01/08/2011 09:59 AM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
That song became a hockey song because in an interview Lyndon Byers of the Boston bruins said it was his favorite song. After that it started Playing at B's game and took off from there.
Anonymous Coward
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01/08/2011 10:26 AM
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Re: Did you know "Black Betty" was racist?
you don't even know what they say in the song? one thinks you might look into that before posting a thread about it, also might look into it's origin as an old blues song.

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