Before doing my monthly research for Princesses and Ladies Inc., I did not know the true impact that African American Music had on the United States. Particularly the impact that it had on the Civil Rights Movement. Not only did singers and musicians collaborate with ethnomusicologists and song collectors to distribute songs, activists also used African American music and songs to motivate and give themselves strength (Library of Congress, n.d). Many singers and activists still remember the songs they would perform and how it made them feel, as well as how important music was during this time. Concerts were even performed to raise money for civil rights organizations.
Now, using music for both motivation and strength is something that I am familiar with. When I am having a hard day, trying to process emotions, or simply make it through, I will oftentimes turn on music and sing. Music can do so much for an individual and in doing my research I have seen that it has been for many, many years. I also learned through my research that these same feelings are what influenced many African American Artists to share their stories and feelings through various types of musical expressions. Whether the life experiences of triumph, joy, sadness, or struggle were the motivation behind a new piece, each feeling shines through African American Music and makes it an important part of United States History.
As the month of June continues, celebrate African American music and musicians who have not only shared their stories through their music, but also had an important influence on America’s history and culture.
Library of Congress. (N.d). Music in the civil rights movement.https://www.loc.gov/.../music-in-the-civil-rights-movement/