Commodification of African American

Dasia Byrd
Survey to African American Music
M W F @1

Many African Americans used their talents to show their identity, feelings, and much more. Through different genres it can show the trauma from black oppression. Music has shown to evolve because of blacks. We have created Negro Spirituals, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, R&B, and much more. Not until a couple of decades ago blacks weren’t being shunned by whites in the music field. Whites didn’t like black artist or their music until one day they would copy their music and style.

Let's take it back to record row!

Al Benson was the first Dj in Chicago to broadcast blues of the south, he played rhythm and the blues. With blacks making more money and Benson playing music sales have gone up for R&B. In the 50s black music was mostly ignored by most record labels . South Michigan Ave in Chicago was known as a record row. It was home to 17 record distributors and a half a dozen record labels.

As time goes on..

United record distributors focused on black music and black jobs. Radio stations won’t play black artists but instead would play white artists who covered the song. Chuck Berry was the biggest crossover artist and he was on chess records. Vee-jays crossover artist was Dee Clark who sang raindrops. Crossover artists gained more recognition and would bring light to labels and genres used.


Black music has now progressed and is now mainstream as well as black artists. Black artist are known all over the world and there are even genres that were created by black culture that all races indulge in. Motown reshaped R&B for mainstream America. They made it easy to dance too and captured white and black audiences. They taught artists how to walk, talk, dress, perform, and everything else. This is now the appeal of artists nowadays.

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