Commodification of African American Music

By: Amaya Roberts

Many African Americans have utilized their voices to convey who they are and who they want to be over the years. By employing music as a release valve for the stresses of everyday life. From negro spirituals to jazz, blues, and gospel, there’s something for everyone. Even though there was a lot of hostility toward black people, they managed to succeed.

Negro Spirituals

Black people have been able to express themselves through music since the beginning of time. Slaves were able to communicate with one another through Negro spirituals. However, throughout time, white people began to appropriate negro spirituals for their own purposes, such as music, novels, and other forms of entertainment, taking advantage of the only means by which salves could communicate with one another.

Jim Crow Laws

Europeans appropriated black people’s music and used it for their own gain. The radio was the most common way for people to listen to music. R&B, soul, and blues were among the genres of music produced, and these record stores sold them all. This went on for a time until the 60s arrived  jazz music was at its peak. It was a brand-new sound born of a mash-up of genres and a journey to the north. At the 1960s, jazz could be heard in clubs, coffee shops, record stores, and just about anywhere in Harlem.

What about current day?

In conclusion Music brings people together during hardship and good times speaking a good message. 

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