Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Archie Roche - Charcoal lane

Tomorrow a historic and long time coming apology will be made by
our new prime minster Kevin Rudd. For those who don't know
what this is all about, He's saying sorry to what has become knowen
as the stolen generation.
This explaination of the term is found on the Dreaming Online site

The greatest assault on Indigenous cultures and family life was the
forced separation or 'taking away' of Indigenous children from their families.
This occurred in every Australian state form the late 1800s until the practice
was officially ended in 1969. During this time as many as 100 000 children
were separated from their families.
These children became known as the Stolen Generation.
The separation took three forms:
putting Indigenous children into government-run institutions;
adoption of children by white families;
and the fostering of children into white families.
The last two strategies were particularly applied to 'fair-skinned' children.
These forced separations were part of deliberate policies of assimilation.
Their aim was to cut children off from their culture to have them raised
to think and act as 'white'.
In the early 80's as I finished school and began working I listened to the
Murrie radio show on 4zzz. It was on Saturday mornings and became
a source of great music and political awareness that lead me to more
personal involvement with Aboriginal people later.
One thing I learn quick was how much hurt this taking of children had
caused. This part of our history has only become understood
in a widespread fashion in the last 10 years or so
and still so many don't get it.
So I had to post on this and find some deadly music to go with it.
Its important for this to happen and I hope its the beginning of true
reconciliation in this country.
I read an article in the "Australian"(newspaper) today from Noel Pearson
One of the leading Indigenous leaders today, You can find it here
In it he makes this important statement

"One of my misgivings about the apology has been my belief
that nothing good will come from viewing ourselves,

and making our case on the basis of our status, as victims.
We have been -- and the people who lost their families certainly were
-- victimised in history, but we must stop the politics of victimhood.
We lose power when we adopt this psychology.
Whatever moral power we might gain over white Australia
from presenting ourselves as victims, we lose in ourselves.
My worry is this apology will sanction a view of history
that cements a detrimental psychology of victimhood,
rather than a stronger one of defiance, survival and agency."
Archie Roche and his wife Ruby Hunter are survivors.
Both taken as children and ending up living on the streets,
they became two of the most respected musicians of their
And Archie's first album "Charcoal lane"contains the amazing song
"They took the children away" this has become an anthem
for the stolen generation,
When I met this humble man I asked him if he minded
if I sang his song publicly, he responded by telling how
he had sung it in schools and other places to educate
those who didn't know what had happened to them,
and he didn't mind at all.

If you haven't heard this its well worth it, Archie has
an incredible voice and is one of Australia's great singer
songwriters and this is a great day to listen to a true

Download Here


Anonymous said...

link is dead!