A Century of Gospel: 1920 to 2020

Introduction The gospel portion was one I was really looking forward to beginning Survey of African-American Music. I was raised in church, and to be completely honest, the music reeled me in more than a lot of sermons. I consider music, coupled with prayer, to be my primary source of praise. With all of this […]

Strange Fruition–Nina Simone’s Impact on Folk Music

Folk music, in particular, invokes an emotional response from its listeners. The music shows itself to be raw at times and can often express emotions and deep thoughts better than any orator or author. Nina Simone is one of the twentieth century’s best examples of consistent producers of thought-invoking music. In the footsteps of Quiett […]

Marian Anderson Brings Spirituals to the National Stage

Nearly four score after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation that released African-Americans from bondage, Marian Anderson utilized the genre morphed from slavery to stand against discrimination midway through the Jim Crow era and unintentionally serve as a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement in the decades to follow.   A Brief History of Negro […]

Zion Harmonizers–Staples of the Transitional Era

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL0cGLue-iE In 2019, the Zion Harmonizers celebrated their Diamond Jubilee. That same year, they took part in the 50th annual Jazz Fest, a spot the group has  occupied every year since its inception, in the Gospel tent they helped to establish.     Established in 1939 in the Gert Town neighborhood of New Orleans, La, […]

Spirituality Meets Song: An Analysis of Coltrane’s A Love Supreme

John Coltrane’s 1965 album A Love Supreme is amongst his best-selling and highest acclaimed. The album exceeded the saxophonist’s usual album sales sixfold & stood the test of time in a cultural sense with fans such as Barack Obama admiring the work fifty years after its release. It is a highly personal album as it […]

You Thought White Folks’ Stealing “Cadillac Car” Was Bad? Talk to Big Mama Thornton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jXM1OEP5oshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoHDrzw-RPg The 2006 film “Dreamgirls” is undoubtedly my favorite movie. It’s one of the first movies I have vivid memories of seeing in theaters as it was my 7th birthday. 15 years later, It’s rare for me to go too long without incorporating the sayings and songs derived from the 1981 Tony award-winning musical into […]

Always Had a Seat at the Table: Solange

With a career approaching the 20 year mark, Solange debuted in the early 2000s with contemporary R&B and has since grown into an artist releasing works reflecting upon systemic racism, femininity, romance, and self-image. “I remember having so much perspective about my voice, and how to use my voice, at such a young age—whether it […]

Lifting as We Climb: The Influence of Black Women Activists on Joplin’s Treemonisha.

Lumsden delves into the social climate during the publication of Treemonisha—particularly pointing out the erasure of Black women of the time. Lumsden points out women from multiple fields including musician Harriet Gibbs Marshall and author Ida B. Wells, and the focus of this article, public speaker Mary Church Terrell. Though the women occupy different aspects […]