Kool & the Gang: Over Five Decades of Influence

Kool & the Gang, a group that has been active since 1964, is an inspirational and highly influential group that has become the longest running and one of the most successful groups in the history of R&B and pop music. They have received national and international recognition for their contribution to music and their community, […]

Artist Posts Fall 2022

Name Artist  Did bibliography? How many posts? Vashti Robinson Kool and the Gang  Yes 9 Camryn Henry Lil Wayne Yes 8 FaDima Ketia Joseph “Joe” Lewis Thomas Yes 8 Tyler Dorsey  Tyler Dorsey  Yes 8 Trinity Royal O’Jays Yes 7 Ariana Swindell Lecrae Yes 7 Lauren Forney Jhene Aiko Yes 8 Taylor Harris Mahalia Jackson […]


/*! elementor – v3.8.1 – 13-11-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} By Camryn H, FaDima K, Vashti R, and Sequoia S /*! elementor – v3.8.1 – 13-11-2022 */ .elementor-widget-divider{–divider-border-style:none;–divider-border-width:1px;–divider-color:#2c2c2c;–divider-icon-size:20px;–divider-element-spacing:10px;–divider-pattern-height:24px;–divider-pattern-size:20px;–divider-pattern-url:none;–divider-pattern-repeat:repeat-x}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider{display:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{font-size:15px;line-height:1;max-width:95%}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__element{margin:0 var(–divider-element-spacing);-ms-flex-negative:0;flex-shrink:0}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-icon{font-size:var(–divider-icon-size)}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider-separator{display:-webkit-box;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;margin:0;direction:ltr}.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator{-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center}.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:before{display:block;content:””;border-bottom:0;-webkit-box-flex:1;-ms-flex-positive:1;flex-grow:1;border-top:var(–divider-border-width) var(–divider-border-style) var(–divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-left .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{-webkit-box-flex:0;-ms-flex-positive:0;flex-grow:0;-ms-flex-negative:100;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-left .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-left .elementor-divider__element{margin-left:0}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-right .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{-webkit-box-flex:0;-ms-flex-positive:0;flex-grow:0;-ms-flex-negative:100;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-right .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider–element-align-right .elementor-divider__element{margin-right:0}.elementor-widget-divider:not(.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_text):not(.elementor-widget-divider–view-line_icon) .elementor-divider-separator{border-top:var(–divider-border-width) […]

The Evolution of Jazz

/*! elementor – v3.8.0 – 30-10-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Timeline Early Jazz: The Beginning (1920-1930) Jazz was born in New Orleans at the end of the 19th century and was a form of collective improvisation. Because New Orleans is on the water, it was easy for people to come from […]

One-derful! Records (1962-1968)

/*! elementor – v3.7.8 – 02-10-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} History One-derful! Records was an independent record company based in Chicago and was located on Michigan Avenue. It was one of the few black-owned record labels, and was founded by George Leaner in 1962. The company focused on blues, soul, and […]

Mint Condition: Artist Post Progression

/*! elementor – v3.7.7 – 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title[class*=elementor-size-]>a{color:inherit;font-size:inherit;line-height:inherit}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-small{font-size:15px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-medium{font-size:19px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-large{font-size:29px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xl{font-size:39px}.elementor-widget-heading .elementor-heading-title.elementor-size-xxl{font-size:59px} Albums Previous Next Songs Play Play Play Play Previous Next Bibliography Anonymous. “Hit Group Mint Condition Wins Huge Following with Smash Album ‘Definition of a  Band’.” Jet, vol. 91, no. 14, 1997, pp. 46–46. ARINDE, NAMBA. “Mint Condition, the World’s Most […]

Musical Expression in the African American Church: Gospel

As we have learned, music has always been a form of expression for the Black community. It has evolved into a way we can connect over several different genres in several different ways and spaces, but one particular space has been highlighted since the early 20th century. /*! elementor – v3.7.7 – 20-09-2022 */ .elementor-heading-title{padding:0;margin:0;line-height:1}.elementor-widget-heading […]

The Blues, an Instrumental and Lyrical Expression of Emotions in the Black Community

A new singing style in southern black communities emerged in the early 20th century, the blues. The blues brought in different musical and lyrically expressive characteristics, and was also an influence to various subsections of jazz which would come later. Due to the racial climate in the south, the institutionalization of racial segregation and forms […]

Work Songs

Spirituals: Foundation of African American Music
As a result of forced migration, slaves were stripped of their cultures and religions. Many were forced to chant or sing while working in the fields and were seen as defiant or deviant if they refused. In the eighteenth century, many slaves adopted Christianity and began to learn European and American Christian hymns. They adopted fragments from these hymns and unified them with African beats and rhythms to express their feelings and cope with the reality of their new lifestyle. These musical adaptations are known as spirituals, which had common themes of hope, faith, struggle, weariness, and the desire to be free.
The lyrics in these spirituals heavily reference the bible, causing them to have different interpretations depending on perspective. As slaveowners or others listen, the bible references are seen only on the surface level as homage to the religions they inflicted on the slaves. Underneath the surface, the religious lyrics allude to the wishes and hopes of the slaves. For example, when mentioning the heavens or the promised land, they often referred to bodily freedom back in Africa or the north rather than spiritual freedom. Contrasts between the devil and the lord compared slaveholders’ thoughts and those who advocated for the slaves. Hell alluded to the south as a whole. The slaves developed this code to sing the words they could not say aloud and avoid being caught speaking negatively about the slaveholders.
While performing or reciting spirituals, several practices were used, including call and response, repetition, and communal participation. All of which are present in popular selections “His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” “This Might Be the Last Time,” and “Wade in the Water.” These songs and hundreds of others were utilized as a form of communication and expression among the slaves while they worked in the fields or participated in a segregated worship service. Another example is “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900. The song has a clear theme of unity and expresses that although the journey to liberty and freedom will not be easy, they will reach the promised land under the protection of God and rejoice with their ancestors. The song highlights the gloomy past of slavery by saying, “Stony the road we trod, Bitter the chast’ning rod.” While acknowledging this, Johnson balanced grief and trauma with hope and optimism later on with the line “Out from the gloomy past, Till now we stand at last, Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.” Ultimately, the song acts as an acknowledgment of our ancestors’ resilience, a prayer for its current and future singers, and a prayer for the next generation. The song gained popularity early on and became a signature piece to be sung for special events and in schools and churches. It was later adopted as the black national anthem by the NAACP after they began to incorporate it into more formal and political environments. “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” along with many other songs became traditional selections in church for decades and later became a key component of the Civil Rights Movement during meetings and public demonstrations of peace.