A Whole New World: Black Musical Theatre

Black Representation in Musical Theatre The Beginning Vinnette Carroll is an actress, playwright, and director. Not only was she Broadway’s first African-American female director, but also she was the first Black actress to star in a week-long tv show. She made her Broadway debut in the 1956 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. She then […]

Welcome to Funky Town: The Truth About Funk and Soul

How did Funk and Soul Music Impact the Black Community? Funk Soul Funk is a music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid 1960s. This genre is comprised of a mixture of genres including soul, jazz, and R&B. Funk music is known to have strong bass lines and grooves that makes you […]

Little Louis: Valaida Snow

Valaida Snow Previous Next Snow’s Upbringing Early Life Valaida Snow was born on June 2nd, 1904 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her love for music started when her father, minister and leader of the Pickaninny Troubadours, took her and her family on the road to begin performing at age five. By the time she turned fifteen, Snow […]

Son House: A Hidden Gem

Son House Early Life Edward James “Son” House, Jr. was born on the twenty-first day of March, 1902 in a small town in Mississippi named Lyon. House Jr. was the second of three brothers. His father, was a musician as well; he played the tuba in a band with his brothers. The entire family was heavily […]

Ready Freddie? – Winifred Atwell

Winifred Atwell Her Start: Where it All Began Una Winifred Atwell was a Trinidadian woman who gained popularity for her skilled piano playing. She was born on February 27th of the year 1914. She played piano since she was a young girl. Her musical talents took everyone by surprise after she wrote “Piarco Boogie” which […]

The Golden Gate Quartet: A Glimpse into the Transitional Period

How it All Began The Transitional Period 1930 – 1945  The group was founded as “The Golden Gate Jubilee Singers” in 1934. The group was formed by four students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia. The original members were Willie Johnson (baritone), William Langford (tenor), Henry Owens (second tenor), and Orlandus Wilson […]

Hidden Plans: Dissecting the Truth

Hidden plans: Dissecting the truth What is a Double Entendre? A phrase of words with two meanings. Sometimes both meanings are obvious, and other times the meanings require critical thinking. In plain words, it is a song text with a double meaning.  Why are Double Entendres significant? double entendres are intended to have a secret […]

Black Folk(s): Do You Drive a Fast Car?

Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter who rised to fame in the late 1980s and 1990s. She is a Cleveland, Ohio native who was born on the 30th of March in 1964. The musician began writing music and performing in Boston, and caught her big break in 1986 when she was introduced to […]