With all the awful videos of senseless things happening to young black men resulting in their death lately, I thought of this banjo tune from Hobart Smith of Smyth County. He likely learned from a black banjo player near his home in Saltville. This stuff as we know has been happening for 400 plus years. When I first encountered this tune in the 1970’s I wondered what the title of this tune Pateroller meant. I was informed it was slang for Patrol Officer. The rapid pace of the tune seems to represent the urgency a person of color would likely have, running knowing that they can’t trust the police not to abuse them.
I hope some empathy will arise in our communities to force some important policy changes soon. Be sure to cast your vote to bring in some better representatives.