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Opinion Piece on Folk Music 8/27/2019 Ciara Terry

In the “Folk Post” article on May 6th, 2019, it speaks on the history, origin, and purpose of Folk Music and how it exemplifies cultural appropriation and white-washing of African culture. The article defined Folk music, as a african music art element that was formed through pain, suffering, rhythm and most of all hope for Africans traveling the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Folk music was also used as “codes” to direct people during the Underground Railroad, and was utilized by famous slave abolitionists like Harriet Tubman.

One takeaway that I got from the article, is that African people and African-Americans are the blueprint for music and for American culture. In speaking of myself, I used to associate folk music with white people, or any genre that is not seen as urban like hip-hop and R&B. I believe this article and the author articulates eloquently on how folk music originated from, and how it transcended over time. 

One thing I found interesting about the article was how they explained how african instruments have been white-washed like the banjo. I associated the banjo to originate from poor whites in the midwest, but learning that it is truly an african instrument is something that I never knew. Lastly, this article was a great introduction of folk music, but I wished it went more in depth about the cultural shift of folk music and it switched from it being an expression of black art to white people.

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