Culture Capsules: Black Music History Month
Dyana Williams, Kenny Gamble and DJ Ed Wright created Black Music History Month in 1979, making this month it's 43rd anniversary. From Chuck Berry to Michael Jackson, Anita Baker to Beyoncé, Black American music has been the backbone of American culture for over a century. The creation of Jazz by Buddy Bolden led to countless classics, and the genre has been fused with hip-hop countless times to create timeless records. Cab Calloway became the first black artist to have a platinum single with his 1931 hit "Minnie The Moocher", and with that door broken down, we've seen black artists sell hundreds of millions of copies worldwide. Rock N Roll wouldn't exist without the pioneer Rosetta Thorpe, and there would be no house music without pioneers like Jesse Saunders. Music is black at it's core, and needs to be celebrated as such.
This month has seen the return of Beyoncé and a new Drake album, and the masses seems to be split on whether or not they enjoy house/dance music in response. The "dark" era of music that we've been going through in recent years (in terms of the personality of the music, not that the projects have been bad) looks like it may be switching toward a more upbeat and "bright" sound in a way. This may be a way to make sure that there's a sound for the "being outside" era that society has been in a loop of throughout this pandemic, or just a switch up in sound by major artists. It's also good to see mainstream black artists decide to take a step out of the lanes that we're so used to seeing them in, and in turn can show the masses or even just their respective fans that there is music outside of the hip-hop and R&B that we all love. Yes, those genres are the biggest in the world currently, but that doesn't mean that anything different is inherently bad. In the summertime, more masses of people are outside, whether that's a good thing during these times is another conversation, but music like this in the right setting is the perfect background sound or soundtrack to a fun summer event. During this Black Music History Month, we should try to look outside of the box that we're all so used to and enjoy more genres of music.