Sissieretta Jones: Forever A Classic

By: Niara Keyes Matilda Sissieretta Jones, known as “The Black Patti” was a classical opera singer born in Portsmouth, Virginia. She was considered the greatest African American in her field, during the late 19th and early 20th century. Jones began her studies at the Providence Rhode Island Academy School of Music, revealing her talents early […]

Coon Songs, Cakewalks, & Minstrel Shows: Rag Era

By Niara Keyes Cakewalks, Coon songs and Minstrel shows all became popularized during the era of Ragtime. Ragtime was prominent within the African American community, long before it was given a name. Ragtime’s widespread period of popularity began in the late 1890’s to the early 1920s. Ragtime is known for its roots in the African […]

Down in the Delta: Where the Blues Began

By: Niara Keyes Originating in the deep Southern region of the United States, and gaining popularity during the peak influence of explicit racism and Jim Crow laws, the Blues emerged full force, ready to express the emotions of the African American experience. As African Americans migrated to Northern cities, their music followed. Detroit and Chicago […]

Jubilee Quartets: Slaves to Entertainers

The Jubilee genre captured societies attention beginning in the late 1880s, carrying through important transitional eras throughout U.S. history. Beginning with Jubilee quartets flourishing through the African Americans institutions of higher education, to being used to promote political propaganda. Jubilee quartets acquired attention quickly, and eventually went on to influence other genres. Jubilee is a […]

Cotten Picking: Elizabeth Cotten’s Story

By: Niara Keyes & Skkyler Ofoedu EARLY LIFE Born in 1893 in Carrboro, North Carolina, Elizabeth Cotten was born into a musical family. She was the youngest of five children. At age seven, she began to play the banjo. When she was eleven, she bought her first guitar for $3.75. In her early teens, she […]

Niara Keyes’s IME

Introduction My name is Niara Keyes. I am a sophomore, Political Science major, Chinese minor, from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mindset My mindset this Spring semester is to assert myself. I want to get more involved in campus organizations, which in turn, allows me to network and gain experience in my various areas of interest.  In regards […]