Over the course of the semester we have discussed central themes with respect to the history of African American / Black Music. In my opinion the most significant lecture we visited was the transition of music & musicians and the Black musician at the turn of the century. Here we analyzed the text of Alain Locke where he makes it plain that Negro music has and will evolve, BUT has it grown? To take this line of reasoning further Locke asks is the music good; good meaning is the music true to the lived experience of the artist. We identify this lived experience as it relates to music as “Folk” music. Music that is considered authentic in nature, removed from all classes of commerciality and mainstream persuasion. Traditional examples of what we label “Folk” music in this sense can be found in field hollers, and work songs of the slaves. The melody the rhyme the production of such music reflected the lived conditions at the time. Therefore at the introduction of Black Nativism we have music reflecting a lived experience within the realm of black identity or some superficial levels of Black Nationalism.
History informs us that early white racists developed and imposed the renowned one-drop rule to identify, label, and in some instances isolate people of African decent. We must consider that not all who were classified under the one-drop rule were immigrants from Africa; although few in number countless blacks trace their lineage back to the Caribbean. Be it of African decent or Caribbean decent all fell victim to the stern oppression inflicted by the dominant culture. Aside from the noticeable racial intolerance that our western culture embodied laid another conflict, which contributed oppression of blacks.