Hello, my name is Candace Carter. I am a junior biology major from Columbus, MS.

As I start to prepare for this class I am very excited to dive into it. I love African Americans as a people. It’s heartwarming to see hardships that we have faced and yet we were able to become so lively and so diverse. We were stripped of our culture and native tongue and yet we still created American Culture and American music.

Being from Mississippi I feel as though I have been filled with the culture and love of our ancestors. Having my parents has led me to have a deep appreciation for not only African American culture but also the music that was born from it. I have fond memories of waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of my parents cooking breakfast and the sounds of Bob Marley blasting over our speaker system. The first musician I fell in love with was Prince. My godfather would come over with stacks of tapes that we would put inside the VCR. I’ve always been different from the people around me so imagine my joy to see this flamboyant man in heels, makeup, and his hair freshly done perform on stages in front of crowds of people. My godfather bought me a barney guitar when I was 5 because it was purple like the one Prince played. From there I was hooked. I began playing the piano when I was 8, however stopped taking lessons when I was 12 to play the saxophone. I continued playing saxophone throughout high school. It was at that time that I realized I wanted to be Drum Major. I auditioned and became the first sophomore Drum Major at my high school, a privilege usually only bestowed upon seniors. Throughout my life I have been in various choirs and bands including my city choir, girls’ choir, and traveling choir. It’s safe to say that I love music. I also love the artistry behind the music. I have had the privilege to attend many concerts performed by artists young and old from many different genres. There is nothing that attracts me more to music than the way that people perform. One thing I believe you would notice about the artists that I adore is their passion for storytelling. They all have this way with words that encapsulate you.

I am excited to explore different thoughts on African American music with my classmates and teacher. I am also looking forward to polishing my communication skills on the subject matter.