A Week of African American Music History, The beginnings

Posted on February 3, 2021

by Kim P

Each week, the Black History Committee will offer books, music, and online media information that provides an outline to the roots of American music. African and African American music come from the same sources, the continent of Africa. The diaspora of African culture brought the richness of vocal harmonies, drum beats and string instruments that melded into vast, creative, and innovative ways to sing, dance, and communicate their spirits.

Week 1

The first week focuses on the actual roots of African music being planted in the New World. From the very beginning of Africans brought to the Colonies, the history sprung up from the desperation and misery of slavery’s oppression. Before Africans could verbally communicate, they could sing, share rhythms, and create harmonious music. This blog contains music CDs, books, and digital media from the early roots until the start of the blues. Africans were transported by ship during the transatlantic slave trade to the New World, but the roots of the African continent never left their hearts and voices.

The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music

Sounding Forms: African Musical Instruments

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

DVD   |   eBook
Cover of On Highway 61:  Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom Cover of On Highway 61:  Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

Cover of Lift Every Voice: The History of African American Music Cover of Lift Every Voice: The History of African American Music

Lift Every Voice: The History of African American Music

Cover of The History of Gospel Music Cover of The History of Gospel Music

The History of Gospel Music

Cover of The History of Gospel Music Cover of The History of Gospel Music

The History of Gospel Music

Cover of Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895 Cover of Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895

Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895

Cover of The Life and Times of Scott Joplin Cover of The Life and Times of Scott Joplin

The Life and Times of Scott Joplin

Cover of Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz Cover of Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz

Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz

Mother of the Blues: A Study of Ma Rainey

Cover of Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday Cover of Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday

More to come in Week 2, and Jazz Explodes!

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