The Burbs are Vibing Hard on #BLM
The second of Brent Whitman’s weekly Social Distancing Front Porch Raves is planned to be held Saturday afternoon for the Estates at the Windmore neighborhood, within city curfew hours.
The first event was a surprise success, according to resident Rebecca Calloway.
“Brent pumped these amazing Chicago house tracks from the veranda while his life partner, Skye, poured homemade kombucha and entertained us with spinning poi and hula hooping. It was a little slice of Burning Man at home!”
Neighbors were seen dancing in the street, which they blocked off for the event, with beer and cocktails while their children played together on the lawns.
Trent Howell, who lives two doors away from Whitman, told us, “I’m surprised I have such cool neighbors. I’ve been living here two years but never met any of them. Turns out we have a ton in common. I’ve already made plans to go mountain biking with Rand tomorrow, and we’re going to meet up with his wife and Susan at a craft brewery afterward.”
The host says the idea appeared when protest marches forced his favorite dance venue to close temporarily. “We can’t let all this negativity stop us from finding our vibe,” he told me in a private interview on the terraced lawn behind his house. “This is the right way to gather for a common cause. Music brings us all together and reminds us that, under our skin, we’re basically the same.”
“I’m bringing America together by throwing badass parties where everybody can find the love,” he said.
When asked if he planned to use his event to help promote the voices of black artists in the metro area, Whitman replied, “Sure, I can let someone else on the turntables. But that’s a week 3 or 4 thing. I gotta get the audience warmed up to the idea first.”
“Besides,” he added after a moment of thoughtful reflection, “it’s hard to find good black talent in this city. I need to start the search early so I can set up auditions and get a contract drawn up.”
A few beers later, Whitman confided that the suburban daytime rave scene aligns with a subversive political purpose. “I met a state Supreme Court justice at a New Year’s Eve rager last winter. He stumbled up to my booth right after arriving. I remember how red and runny his nose was, like he’d been out in the cold all night. He told me he really felt the freak house set I was spinning and invited me to pop molly with him. We bonded hard that night.”
“I’m in now, don’t you see?” he insisted. “I’ve got access to the power brokers in this system. Real influence with change makers, all thanks to the magic of music.”
Whitman has already used his leverage to take action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I texted his honor to ask if I can spin records at the state capitol. If so, I’m going to make an entire set of soul and funk. I want to connect people to the hearts of the oppressed, show everyone what’s at stake if we lose their creative culture.”
Whitman believes his neighbors will be the next leaders in local and state government. “I didn’t move into this gated community by accident,” he explained to me. “These guys are up-and-comers. I’m making moves to create bigger changes in this system.”
Mr. Whitman expects his efforts to bear fruit on behalf of people of color no later than 2045.