With the advancement of movements like the Black Lives Matter, it should be no secret that everyone must know how impactful Black people have been when it comes to music. Suppose you’ve listened to artists like Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, Childish Gambino, or Kendrick Lamar. In that case, you will most definitely understand how much Black people have impacted all your favorite music. Delving from genres like jazz, house, rap, and Rock ‘n’ Roll, black people have shaped and formed the music industry that you witness today.
Being black is hard, and they’ve faced so much for so many generations just because of their race, especially why you need to know and respect the fact that black people created all your favorite music.
The Beginning of Jazz
Believe it or not, but jazz started in New Orleans in a community of African Americans. Whenever you listen to artists like Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong, always remember that it has come a long way, starting in the 19th century, and black artists would play it at parades and gatherings. The music evolved into an upbeat version known as ‘jass.’ Jazz reached its peak in the 1920s and had penetrated the mainstream of the music industry; however, it was due to all-white performing artists that plagiarized the idea and theme of African American jazz.
Therefore, black music was commercialized by white performers, so people don’t know that their favorite genre’s origin comes from black people.
The Start of Country Music
If you haven’t heard of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” you must be living under a rock. Toppling records and dominating the charts, this young black artist had to face many setbacks since the genre known as “Country” music is a white-dominated one. Country music has always been assumed to be of white origin; however, little do people know that country music’s origin started from the “Banjo.”
The banjo is an instrument of West African roots and was used by slaves during the period of slavery in America. Firstly used as a part of slave spirituals, it was further appropriated and viewed to white audiences, yet another genre unofficially had black people as its origin. Country music has erased all-black innovators, which is why it is known as a white-dominated music genre.
The Origin of House
House is one of the most popular music genres that is played today, and it’s just sad how people lack the knowledge of its history. It started as a fun idea for Gay Black/Latino clubs. Starting from the late 70s by the Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles innovated and created disco into house music. People don’t realize the Black/ Latino and LGBTQ origin behind the house music’s start that you listen. This is due to the fact that house music is now dominated by white people and is often played in locations like Ibiza rather than for the gay people of color at Chicago’s south side.