African Music

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African Folk, American Music

A look into early African instruments, music types, and performance styles reminds us that complexity runs deep in the roots of Black expression. Many instruments that may look deceptively simple have incredibly unique methods of playing and purpose. This article looks into some instruments of African origin that are common in American music, particularly (black) […]

The Evolution of the Banjo

What Is The Banjo: The banjo is an instrument commonly found used in folk music that was brought from West Africa to America through slavery. In its early form, the banjo was comprised of a round drum with a neck and strings stretched on top. Over time, the banjo was adopted by white performers and […]

NINA SIMONE: Voice of a Revolution

Nina Simone curated songs like “Young, Gifted and Black”, “Four Women”, “Mississippi Goddamn” and others because of her passions to address oppressions and racism that not only she had experienced but the how many African Americans experienced these social injustices. Not only did she display activism in her songs , she was an active participant […]

Folk-ryin’ out loud

A look into the history of the Kora in Folk music and African American music The Kora is an instrument  used within Jali families of the Mande people along with the Malinke people in West Africa that date back to the 1700s.    It consists of 21 strings that produce a harp like sound placing […]

Queen of American Folk Music

A quick google search of “queen of American folk music” and you will easily find a nice amount of information on a woman named Odetta, who was known as one of the most influential singers in the 1950’s and 60’s revival of American folk music. She was also labeled as the “voice of the civil […]

Folk Music Review -Kendall Jones

Black artists and musicians played a crucial role in the progression of American folk music. Originally from negro spirituals, these songs of the civil rights were commonly passed down through oral tradition. African American folk music comes largely from the musical traditions of slaves and their offspring in the south. The roots of the carefree […]

Turn Up the Folk Music

The unpleasant experience of Africans who were sold and enslaved birthed the sound of folk music. People attempted to tell their story through lyrics. The lyrics expressed their sorrowful stories. Folk music is the earliest form of “message music”. The term “folk” originated in the 19th century but it’s history extends far beyond that. Folk music set the pace […]

Odetta: The Voice of Folk

Written by: Imani Diggs “The better we feel about ourselves,  the fewer times we have to knock someone else down to feel taller.” -Odetta Early Life Ms. Odetta grew up in Birmingham, Alabama during the era of the Great Depression. Despite the times, her community found the joy in life despite their conditions. She speaks […]

Ole Folk Music: African-American Edition

Ole Folk Music: African-American Edition . Origin and Influence In the early 16th century Africans were subbjected to a European way of living. They were forced into a Westernized Society which viewed them as less of what they were. Because of this, African’s were forced into slavery where they were further described as the “White […]

How To Steal a Genre for Dummies :African American Folk Music

“Now that you have complete control of the creators (therefore knowing where it originated from), have studied the elements, and made the genre hard to express as one’s own you are on your way to effectively stealing a genre. What comes next is making a profit off of the stolen goods.”

Folk Music: Songs of the Struggle

Folk Music: Songs of the Struggle If you want to learn about the struggles of being African American, the best teacher is African American music. The hardships faced by African Americans can be found in a number of genres: Hip-Hop, R&B, Blues, etc… all throughout the history of African American music. But, where does the […]