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What Is The Meaning Of The "ns Black Fist"?


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Dear all,

after reading a previous thread (https://www.soul-source.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=27859) I wonder what the meaning of the black fist in Northern Soul actually is - or was.

Should it be a reminiscence at the black fist of the Black Power movement (as seen during the Olympic Summer games 1968 in Mexico)?

Or is there a different background?

And by the way: does someone know what the origin of the "Mod Target" is?

Take care

YouYou

Edited by YouYou
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The Roundel came from Pop Art which was first assigned to British artists like Richard Hamilton who used popular cultural motifs in his collages.

MG1054-Johns.jpg

US artist Jasper Johns later used the American flag for inspiration in the late fifties. Combined with the British Invasion and pop music the Union Jack was used as a fashion item.

Keith Moon had a T shirt with a roundel on it but I don't know who came up the idea.

moonside.jpg

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Dear all,

after reading a previous thread (https://www.soul-source.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=27859) I wonder what the meaning of the black fist in Northern Soul actually is - or was.

Should it be a reminiscence at the black fist of the Black Power movement (as seen during the Olympic Summer games 1968 in Mexico)?

Yes it's probably a symbol of the Black power movement representing black solidarity in the struggle for equality and respect in a bigotted rednecked country. Adopted by lovers of a particular music genre in the UK with certain records capturing the essence of the struggle by such artistes as:

The Shakers

Paul Anka

Lorraine Silver

Bobby Goldsboro

Bobby Diamond

Gene Pitney

Elvis

Frank Popp

Etc, Etc.

:D

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Yes it's probably a symbol of the Black power movement representing black solidarity in the struggle for equality and respect in a bigotted rednecked country. Adopted by lovers of a particular music genre in the UK with certain records capturing the essence of the struggle by such artistes as:

The Shakers

Paul Anka

Lorraine Silver

Bobby Goldsboro

Bobby Diamond

Gene Pitney

Elvis

Frank Popp

Etc, Etc.

:D

BOLLOX it was meant as it said BLACK POWER it had naff all to do with any struggle by the blacks etc it was just a symbol of the music so stop talking twaddle. NORTHERNSOUL and POLITICS ........Nah i dont think so
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Guest Black Gold of the Sun

BOLLOX it was meant as it said BLACK POWER it had naff all to do with any struggle by the blacks etc it was just a symbol of the music so stop talking twaddle. NORTHERNSOUL and POLITICS ........Nah i dont think so

Here we go ,its that deja vu thing allover again.java script:emoticon(

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BOLLOX it was meant as it said BLACK POWER it had naff all to do with any struggle by the blacks etc it was just a symbol of the music so stop talking twaddle. NORTHERNSOUL and POLITICS ........Nah i dont think so

I'm not sure, but I think you're wrong.

In my early days ion the scene I remember a small lunatic minority dancing with one leather glove on. Surely that was a political statement, not a music statement & surely not a fashion statement.

Col.

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I'm not sure, but I think you're wrong.

In my early days ion the scene I remember a small lunatic minority dancing with one leather glove on. Surely that was a political statement, not a music statement & surely not a fashion statement.

Col.

Yes you are right, there was a craze for a while of wearing one black glove, didn't last long.

Almost certainly a fashion thing with it's roots in the black power gesture. If political, it was certainly mis-guided. Remember the Black Panthers, however just their cause, were actually terrorists.

As for politics in Northern Soul, it has unfortunately always been there and is of the personal type. Just check out what's going on now under the Ethics thread.

John.

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Guest in town Mikey

The record shop in Gloucester where I bought a re-issue of James Coit - Black Power were giving away sew-on badges with Northern Soul - Black power on them.

I probably have it at home.

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I remember wearing the black fist , the one black glove and the black beret and as far as I was concerned at the time, bearing in mind I was only 16 at the time , I had very little knowledge of the black culture and political struggle in America. So for me it was just a fashion thing like the baggie trousers and the full lenght leather coats. Lets not start a mini battle over this

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As for politics in Northern Soul, it has unfortunately always been there and is of the personal type. Just check out what's going on now under the Ethics thread.

I dont think you can class the oldies v newies thing or the use of laptops or the infighting between promoters in the same political ilk as the struggle for black equal rights or the Irish problem etc etc etc whats next bombing nighters I DONT THINK so do you????

We were all to young, too smashed and enjoying ourselves to be bothered or aware of what was going on in other parts of the world!!!! It was a symbol of black music power and nothing else do dont read into things that are not there!!! End Of!

Edited by OoooRICKoooO
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We were all to young, too smashed and enjoying ourselves to be bothered or aware of what was going on in other parts of the world!!!! It was a symbol of black music power and nothing else do dont read into things that are not there!!! End Of!

I'm not sure what you're saying here Rick. I hope you're not saying that soul has nothing to do with politics because it's probably the most politically influenced music ever, born out of decades of oppression in the US. I think what you are saying is that youngsters into soul (i wont say northern cos that's different) never thought about it's origins and the culture in which it was produced. Well that might be true of some, maybe most, but i for one was aware from day one of the struggle in the US. It was hard not to be political in the late 70s.

On the other hand i'm not saying that's why i chose soul over other forms, that was a purely aesthetic choice and in no way political, but i cared that people had fought and died to bring it to me (literally in a lot of cases).

Matt

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.... but i cared that people had fought and died to bring it to me (literally in a lot of cases).

Matt

I agree with that sentiment Matt. One of the reasons that Larry Saunders released the rare 'Free Angela' LP was that a significant injustice had been done to Angela Davis in the name of the US state pursuing the Black Panthers. She didn't wear gloves, she didn't go to Wigan - but in the words of Towana and Total Destruction, she did 'Wear Her Natural Baby'

Can't see how politics of social change and civil rights can be stripped out of soul music?

I didn't wear a glove but they were a lot cooler than some of the garb that has been worn in the name of northern soul.

Next week - Beer towels and why they helped free Nelson Mandela

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The record shop in Gloucester where I bought a re-issue of James Coit - Black Power were giving away sew-on badges with Northern Soul - Black power on them.

I probably have it at home.

didnt they give the record away free with the badge Mikey :lol::lol::yes::P

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BOLLOX it was meant as it said BLACK POWER it had naff all to do with any struggle by the blacks etc it was just a symbol of the music so stop talking twaddle. NORTHERNSOUL and POLITICS ........Nah i dont think so

Rick, my post was made with me tongue firmly in my cheek. I didn't do politics either back in my Northern soul youth days, but I did start to recognise injustices just on the level as to why fantastic obscure black music never got radio airplay yet the crappest of pop music would, making those performers rich, and keeping the black performers unknown.

Jordi

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Guest claude rains

I'm not sure what you're saying here Rick. I hope you're not saying that soul has nothing to do with politics because it's probably the most politically influenced music ever, born out of decades of oppression in the US. I think what you are saying is that youngsters into soul (i wont say northern cos that's different) never thought about it's origins and the culture in which it was produced. Well that might be true of some, maybe most, but i for one was aware from day one of the struggle in the US. It was hard not to be political in the late 70s.

On the other hand i'm not saying that's why i chose soul over other forms, that was a purely aesthetic choice and in no way political, but i cared that people had fought and died to bring it to me (literally in a lot of cases).

Matt

Quite agree with matt, black music by its intent is political, there are loads of records with political messages. otis lee"Hard row to hoe" , b-side to nomad woman "free at last", esther phillips "home is where the hate is", etc.

Northern soul was written and performed by mostly young working class black kids, trying to make sense of peoples pedjudices. Through music they found a voice that could help them express there hopes and fears in a country they found hard to gain acceptance and credit. This is still true in many ways, just more subtle. I have always been into human rights and in the current political climate this is even more poignant.

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Guest Andy BB

I'm quite certain that the Mod Target was invented in Merseyside in the early 80s by wedge headed Scallies so that they had something to aim their chips & curry/batteries/glasses/knives/bricks//broken bottles and sticks at when I putted past on my pink Vespa 50 Special with target sidepanels.

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BOLLOX it was meant as it said BLACK POWER it had naff all to do with any struggle by the blacks etc it was just a symbol of the music so stop talking twaddle. NORTHERNSOUL and POLITICS ........Nah i dont think so

Like it or not, Rick, soul music is often interlinked with politics. In fact, without politics, a great deal of soul music wouldn't exist because the music often reflected the experiences, hopes and concerns of the people who made it.

Today you're more likely to hear songs about drugs, guns, cars, bitches, gold and money - because that's what youngsters are interested in.

Do you think America's black power movement stole the black power fist symbol from the "northern soul" scene???

Paul Mooney

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Guest denmac

it was a statement of unity with black america ... i believe that this was the first indication of the identity of northern soul. we are talking about pre dave godin`s statement as many of us had already used the term. i have to say that i feel blessed that i went to a youth club that had a disco in my informative years. the further blessing was that i was exposed to these wonderful records that wer`nt just black,green blue ,yellow labels.. can you believe it, one had a map on it. another had a cat lying on its back blowing a trumpet...my first introduction of the black glove was `69 at the said youth club. many of the older guys would go to nighters one weekend and play the tunes at the youth club on the following friday.single black driving gloves were in evidence. glove link; if any might include: the blue orchid, the brit,the clouds derby, the oodlyboodly . i asked a guy at the brit one night why he had a glove on.? (1970) cos when i do a back drop!!! i looked at the floor and nodded. back to THE GLOVE, yes it was short lived but it cemented something if, as i did, wore one glove on the town or during the week.,,,,it also invited some knobheads to nut me.

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Remember the Black Panthers, however just their cause, were actually terrorists.

Thank you J Edgar, now please name a terrorist activity that the gangsters, murderers and political activists who made up the Black panthers committed.

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Thank you J Edgar, now please name a terrorist activity that the gangsters, murderers and political activists who made up the Black panthers committed.

Sorry, not going to get drawn into this.

As you say: "gangsters, murderers and political activists" and therefore well documented. A quick google search will start off your reseach, for a clearer picture of the overall civil rights movement which also links to the development of black music I can recommend the book "A Change is Gonna Come. Music, Race & The Soul of America " by Craig Werner. There are of course many other writings on this period of American history.

It is a complex and emotive subject and, as I said, the cause itself (although not the means) was justified. Never, in my opinion, was the somewhat over used cliche "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" more appropriate. It is this distinction which unfortunately became too blurred to lend historical credibility.

John.

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i asked a guy at the brit one night why he had a glove on.? (1970) cos when i do a back drop!!! i looked at the floor and nodded. back to THE GLOVE, yes it was short lived but it cemented something if, as i did, wore one glove on the town or during the week.,,,,it also invited some knobheads to nut me.

I always thought this was why one glove was worn, before my time though but thats what I was told by the older guys :lol:

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Was shopping this afternoon & saw a special offer on in Burtons some of you guys might be interested in.

Black gloves - Buy one, get one free :lol:

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Was shopping this afternoon & saw a special offer on in Burtons some of you guys might be interested in.

Black gloves - Buy one, get one free :lol:

Yes I saw that offer, what a bloody con! I bought two lots and when I got home and opened the bag, one lot were both right hands and the other both left!

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Guest Gavin Page

Yes I saw that offer, what a bloody con! I bought two lots and when I got home and opened the bag, one lot were both right hands and the other both left!

I would call Watch Dog mate wouldn't have that !

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Keith Moon had a T shirt with a roundel on it but I don't know who came up the idea.

I first saw it as a teen when mod was my thing, amongst various subcultures at the time. I remember my surprise when I then noticed it on Royal Air Force (RAF) planes from the 2nd world war, even though I knew pop art borrowed from existing icons. It didn't look so great after that, as the meaning changed for me.

Just did a quick google on such keywords and found this on the bbc website (article from 2003), which may interest you :

===============================================================

"MoD's battle over RAF symbol

Clothing giant Arcadia Group is at war with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) - over the rights to use the red, white and blue target symbol.

The MoD has applied to the Patent Office to register the roundel symbol, which appears on all RAF aircraft, as its trademark for use on clothing lines.

However, the high street fashion group has issued a challenge, arguing the roundel was brought into the public domain by the Mod movement of the 1960s. ..."

etc

=========================================================

Click >>> HERE <<< for the rest of the article

Interesting to read that it doesn't stop there, as they also quote:

"There is so much prior usage (of the roundel) that I can't believe the MoD have any hope of registration."

but if you google "roundel" and "history", you may see the contrary >>> HERE <<< where they start:

"The origins of the Royal Air Force roundel come from the First World War. The need to be able to identify aircraft soon became apparent and orders were issued at the end of August 1914 for the Union Flag to be painted on the under-surface of the lower wings. This was satisfactory at low level but was confusing when the aircraft was higher as only the cross was visible..."

...er, sorry if this is getting boring - but I find a lot of answers to stuff I want/need on the internet and usually cross-check etc. You can continue the rest yourself now :unsure:

BTW, If you want to know more about mod stuff, you are probably better off asking on the mod websites rather than the soul ones - as most uk soulies don't swing both ways (DEBATE :ohmy: )

m

Edited by Maria
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Sorry, not going to get drawn into this.

As you say: "gangsters, murderers and political activists" and therefore well documented. A quick google search will start off your reseach, for a clearer picture of the overall civil rights movement which also links to the development of black music I can recommend the book "A Change is Gonna Come. Music, Race & The Soul of America " by Craig Werner. There are of course many other writings on this period of American history.

It is a complex and emotive subject and, as I said, the cause itself (although not the means) was justified. Never, in my opinion, was the somewhat over used cliche "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" more appropriate. It is this distinction which unfortunately became too blurred to lend historical credibility.

John.

You still didn't answer Franks question about naming a specific terrorist act committed by the Black Panthers? While the above book is excellent and meets its objective of putting the music in context against the political climate of the time it is hardly an oracle of the civil rights history. While I would not pretend to be an expert I would suggest you need to consider the alternative theory that many terrorist acts were committed by, or paid for, by men in uniform.

As for the connection of soul and politics (not your quote I know) I would suggest again this is where people with an interest in general soul rather than just Northern (thats not meant as a dig) would surely at least have had an interest in the politics of the time as it inspired so much of the music, in direct and indirect ways.

I must admit I am not particularly good at reading history but have read a fair number of books on American politics of the time purely as result of my interest in the music and would like to think this has in turn shaped my personal politics.

Jock

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I'm quite certain that the Mod Target was invented in Merseyside in the early 80s by wedge headed Scallies so that they had something to aim their chips & curry/batteries/glasses/knives/bricks//broken bottles and sticks at when I putted past on my pink Vespa 50 Special with target sidepanels.

Two points about this post that made me smile....

First, that you would let anybody know that you once had a pink scooter... :yes::yes:

Secondly, that at the end of your list of weapons to be thrown at your Pink Vespa, you list...

'Bricks, broken bottles, and sticks'

Wondered if this was deliberate, or were you playing owt by Dean Parrish as you typed this... :yes:

Edited by Mace
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Arn't black gloves something 'The Soul Police' wear, so as you can't tell they have been trying to disappear up their own arse ?? :yes:

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post-1804-1145867138.jpg

The record shop in Gloucester where I bought a re-issue of James Coit - Black Power were giving away sew-on badges with Northern Soul - Black power on them.

I probably have it at home.

Here's the badge mentioned : Best ,Eddie

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Guest in town Mikey

Thats the feller Eddie. Nice one.

I remember having it on the arm of a jumper. I was about 15/16, and was in the pool room of a local boozer. Rich Thorley (Dave's brother) came in with a few mates. One, who I hadnt met before, was a little typsy and started quizzing me about Northern Soul related suff, in an attempt to discredit me in front of my Punk mates. Fortunately I was able to give a good enough answer to most of his questions. When he went back to Rich et all, I heard one guy say, 'you chose the wrong one there mate'.

A happy memory for me. I hadnt thought of that for ages. Thanks for the piccy. I will be smugly smiling to myself all day now.

Edited by in town Mikey
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Guest StoneSoul45

wow, the discussion of black power on here is a little embarassing to me. I always thought that the use of the Black Power Fist as a northern icon was a little bit tacky. Correct me if I am wrong, but the northern soul scene was largely white, no? I mean, did folks at that time give a shit about american black folks, other than the ones who recorded music? yeah, even the ones who can't sing are suppressed....still.

closer to the source- Ben

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wow, the discussion of black power on here is a little embarassing to me. I always thought that the use of the Black Power Fist as a northern icon was a little bit tacky. Correct me if I am wrong, but the northern soul scene was largely white, no? I mean, did folks at that time give a shit about american black folks, other than the ones who recorded music? yeah, even the ones who can't sing are suppressed....still.

closer to the source- Ben

Yes!!

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wow, the discussion of black power on here is a little embarassing to me. I always thought that the use of the Black Power Fist as a northern icon was a little bit tacky. Correct me if I am wrong, but the northern soul scene was largely white, no? I mean, did folks at that time give a shit about american black folks, other than the ones who recorded music? yeah, even the ones who can't sing are suppressed....still.

closer to the source- Ben

Ben

Most of the people on here come from areas that make Stoney Island and Cottage Grove look like Salt Lake City

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Ben

Most of the people on here come from areas that make Stoney Island and Cottage Grove look like Salt Lake City

Worser :thumbsup:

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Worser :thumbsup:

:thumbsup::lol: I thought it was only us carrot crunchers used that term

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That's soley because of your local, so called, football team Ken

Yeh!!,like them Americants have a monopily on shit places,they`re dreaming :thumbsup:

Edited by ken
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Americants

Ken you must have really thick fingers, the U is a good 3" left of the A!

:thumbsup:

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wow, the discussion of black power on here is a little embarassing to me. I always thought that the use of the Black Power Fist as a northern icon was a little bit tacky. Correct me if I am wrong, but the northern soul scene was largely white, no? I mean, did folks at that time give a shit about american black folks, other than the ones who recorded music? yeah, even the ones who can't sing are suppressed....still.

White and British as in William Wilberforce?

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Guest WPaulVanDyk

well funny if it means black power cause the funny thing is many of the Northern soul nights here have far more white people attend then blacks. Don't know why. You can go to R & B nights etc and get like loads of blacks and many white. But it's almost like black music scene yet no blacks there, not sure why still what would it matter anyway.

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well funny if it means black power cause the funny thing is many of the Northern soul nights here have far more white people attend then blacks. Don't know why. You can go to R & B nights etc and get like loads of blacks and many white. But it's almost like black music scene yet no blacks there, not sure why still what would it matter anyway.

Exactly. It doesn't matter. If a soul night chose it's crowd by the color of their skin, well..... :thumbsup:

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Guest Polyvelts

I wore a target t shirt on holiday in New York, it was the source of much hilarity amongst some of the residents in the Lower East Side Hell hole where I was staying.

'Yeah, shoot his muthafuckin white ass'

I thought better of giving the clenched fist salute as a symbol of soul brother fraternity and kept walking. . . fast.

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Guest martyn

I wore a target t shirt on holiday in New York, it was the source of much hilarity amongst some of the residents in the Lower East Side Hell hole where I was staying.

'Yeah, shoot his muthafuckin white ass'

I thought better of giving the clenched fist salute as a symbol of soul brother fraternity and kept walking. . . fast.

Did you give them the clenched buttocks symbol? :yes:wacko.gif

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I say, yes bomb the wrong events; shoot the wrong DJ's. Lets have a little more politics in soul music. I think we should then invade every other country and call ourselves The Soul Nazi's. Time for a cup of tea............

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