Folk music started as early as the 1930s and got its sound from traditional, rural music. Folk music was known for songs that usually pass throughout generations. It is learned by ear; the lyrics are not usually written down but remembered throughout the years. African American folk musicians that paved the way include: Huddie Ledbetter, better known as “Leadbelly,” Harry Belafonte, also known as an activist for social justice, Odetta who is known for gospel-folk, and Ma Rainey who is known for blues-folk. Folk music is very intersectional, there is not one type of folk song or sound.