America’s roots music is utterly filled with the impact of the African-American community, from the blues to zydeco, and from jazz to hip-hop, through slave-era spirituals about struggle and self-empowerment, to the progenitors of rock and roll. A better way to commemorate Black Past Month than by listening to the amazing music that African-American musicians and authors have brought to the American narrative is by learning about the history.


African-American musicians have had a huge impact on the development of folk music. Songs from the African-American community are frequently associated with struggle, empowerment, human rights, and endurance.

As far back as African-American history stretches, it has been accompanied by a soundtrack of incredible music. Some of the most timeless songs of empowerment and perseverance come from the American slave fields and communities of forced immigrants held in bondage throughout the early country.

The history of African Americans has been accompanied by amazing music for as long as it can be traced. The communities of forced immigrants held in bondage throughout the early United States and the American slave fields produced some of the most enduring anthems of empowerment and tenacity.
The majority of the slaves’ music at the time consisted of a series of calls they would make to one another in the fields.
Street vendors (also known as “criers”) would eventually translate and echo the early call-and-response hollers. These call-and-response songs were used to pass the time while people worked just as much as they were intended to transmit news or information. Religious ceremonies at the time produced other music.




Important Black Folk Artists

Harry Belafonte 
Blind Boys of Alabama
Carolina Chocolate Drops 
Elizabeth Cotten 
Richie Havens 
Keb Mo
Ma Rainey 
Toshi Reagon
Sweet Honey in the Rock 

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