A Review of Turn Up the Folk Music
By: Nia Simone Weeks

            Jhanae Askew’s blog post entitled Turn Up the Folk Music was extremely well written.  I enjoy listening to any genre of music, but folk is a genre I have never heard of nor have I ever listened to. Her blog started off with explaining where folk music originated from which was enslaved African-Americans. She also explained why folk music was created which was because it was a form of “message” music. Through their lyrics they were able to release the sorrow they felt during their unpleasant experiences of being enslaved.         

            Jhanae’s way of splitting the characteristics of folk music and splitting the social implications of folk music was extremely creative. With characteristics she split it between oral tradition and national culture. Then with social implications she split up the topics by white folk music and political agendas. This was an effective way to split her blog post because as a person who has no knowledge of folk music, it made it easier to learn more information.

            Next Jhanae listed the instruments used for folk music. She put three instruments which were the Djembe, the Banjo, and the Patting Juba. With each instrument she separated each of them by stating the physical appearance of the instrument, how they are played, and even why they were brought over. She even provided a YouTube video demonstrating the sound of the Patting Juba.

            It was extremely important how Jhanae listed the commodifications of folk music. I for one never knew that folk music never really got its recognition until the 20s in the 20th century. I also appreciated how she provided the fact that it only started getting recognition once white people began to exercise folk music. Then she provided three black artists who partook in the genre of folk music. Harry Belafonte, Elizabeth Cotton ,and Ma Rainey are black artists who I had never knew played a huge part in folk music until reading the blog post. Throughout reading the biographies of the artists I got a chance to learn about their many contributions to folk music and the milestones of their careers.

            After reading Jhanae Askew’s blog post Turn Up the Folk Music, I was extremely informed. I really enjoyed this blog post because she used an extensive amount of creative ways to separate the different topics in her blog post. As a person who never really knew anything about folk music at all, it truly captured my attention. Through Jhanae’s ways of listing the different black artists who are important to folk music, helped provide me with knowledge about them that I never knew. It was also important how Jhanae provided details about how black people were the originators of folk music, but unfortunately white people were given the credit for it. I also found it extremely important how she wrote about how folk music is important because it breathed life into what we know as music today.