Folk music describes a group activity for the African slaves. In some ways, music united the community. They could sing in the call-response style that would reflect their common way of thinking or their opinions on a subject. Many of the songs coming from the folk artists portray struggle, empowerment, human rights and perseverance from the African-American community.
One would say folk-music started during the slavery period, with slaves working in the fields. During that time, music among the slaves was a series of calls made to each other in the field. Folk songs communicated the feelings of ordinary people’s lives. The words and melodies of the music were usually passed down from parent to child and often changed to reflect the changing times. It has been seen that African American folk music has been published early as 1867.
Some important African American folk artists would be Elizabeth Cotten, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, Keb Mo(folk-blues), and Honey in the Rock. Folk singers usually gathered in churches, living rooms, and learned songs that would help them through their rough work environment. By the 1970s, folk music began to fade, as the US moved past the Civil Rights Movement. However, their practices of using their bodies as instruments never faded, which is shown in rap music. Folk music shocked the Europeans because their music was unconventional and very innovative. Folk expanded what music could be, by emphasizing creativity.
Written by: Jasmine & Kayla