Ain’t Misbehavin’

Ain’t Misbehavin’ StoryLine Ain’t Misbehavin’ was set in the twenties,during the Harlem Renessiance. The Harlem Renessiance was an intellectual, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York. It was also refered to as the ” New Negro Movement”. It was a time when night clubs such as the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom were filled […]

Master StoryTeller : Slick Rick

Early Life Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, as known as Slick Rick was a British-American rapper born in the London District of Surrey January 14,1965. He later migrated to the United States and lived in the Bronx, New York.  As an infant, an accident involving broken glass left him blinded in his right eye. He once […]

The Heart of R&B : Luther Vandross

Before the Fame Luther Vandross was born in New York City on April 20, 1951. He was the youngest of four children. Luther grew up listening to gospel, soul, and doo-wop. His older sister was a member of a doo-wop group known as the Crests, which inspired him to pursue music as well. He began […]

Black Classical

Origin of the Genre Unlike other African American music genres. The classical genre was not created by blacks. The earliest recorded classical time period is the medieval period ( 500-1400).  Although the term ” classical music” was not used until the 19th century during the time of Johann Sebastian Bach. Even though this genre was preexisting, African […]

Black Classical Composers : Olly Wilson

Olly Woodrow Wilson Jr.  Olly Woodrow Wilson Jr. was born in St.Louis on September 7, 1937. He grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. His father, Olly Woodrow Wilson, insisted that he took up learning the piano at a young age. Olly Wilson Jr. also played the clarinet and string bass. Wilson graduated from Washington University […]

Crazy Blues

Origin of the Genre The blues originated in the 1890s and was played all throughout the South.  It was created by African Americans as a form of expression of the trials they were going through during their day to day lives. Blues has roots in negro folk music, chants, and work songs. Characteristics Blues is […]

Breakfast Club Interview: Michael Eric Dyson

The interview with Michael Eric Dyson covered a few controversial discussion topics. The main point that was being made was that in the United States, there are plenty of examples of white privilege shadowing black excellence. This is a very interesting statement, one example Dyson provided was with the Album of the Year award being awarded […]


Origin of the Genre Ragtime is a genre created by African Americans in the late 1800s. Ragtime was birthed within black communities. It was a product of the folk-blues genre. During slavery, slaves would perform songs that were favored by their master and other whites. African instruments used such as the banjo and fiddle slightly altered […]

How’m I Doin’ : Jubilee Quartets

Origin of the Genre The African American quartet appeared in the mid-1800s. Jubilee is a genre that contains narrative text, either secular or religious. It is usually sung in moderate or fast tempo. Jubilee came around during the nineteenth century, it was a product of the University singing movement which emerged after the Civil War. […]

A New Identity : Folk music and Negro Spirituals

Folk music and negro spirituals are examples of two unforeseen outcomes of slavery. They embody the experiences slaves faced in their day to day lives and expressed their desire for freedom. As custom in Africa, slaves incorporated music into their activities. It was common for slaves to have work songs, children’s game songs, Creole songs, […]

What a Time for Black Music: 1980-1999

Avani Smith Range: 1980-1999   1982: Beat It – Michael Jackson I chose this song because I believe it is a representation of how Michael Jackson wanted to be viewed, as a peacekeeper. Michael Jackson spread the message of peace and love through his music. The message in the song is an attempt to end […]

Avani Smith

Hi! My name is Avani Smith. I am a first-year Health Science major from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I grew up learning about African American music from my dad who has always had an interest in music. I also attended an arts integration school for middle and high school. I think these two factors helped form my appreciation for […]