Blues music originated in the cotton fields of the southern United States where the majority of the slave hands were put to work. “The earliest folk-blues were sung by nameless African-Americans living and working in the South’s cotton belt in the early 1880’s and 1890’s- in particular, the region from the Mississippi Delta to East Texas” (Barlow 3).
It was believed that this began as a call and response style, which matured into the work song. From that standpoint, after the release of the slaves, the work song then matured into their Spirituals, and later was introduced to the whites through black-faced Minstrel of Medicine shows (How the Blues Overview).
As the music matured and became more renowned, its influence became prominent in the music styles of the time, and in the intertwining relationships between the races. “The music was a unique and cultural offering that whites could not deny.
It was something new and intriguing to whites that shed a new light on blacks and their place in American culture and society” (Overview).
The music did not seem to have the same color restrictions as the music previously performed. It drew blacks and whites together in a place where everyone could leave the Jim Crow laws at the door (Overview).
This offered a new and beneficial lifestyle for the blacks as well as the whites. Maybe the interest was that the white people had found a new talent to exploit and from which to make easy money, or perhaps, maybe it was because the whites genuinely understood the cultural significance in the music and respected this talent of the black race enough to overcome racial and cultural differences. Although it was socially acceptable for the Blues musicians to write, compose and produce their music, it was frowned upon, until the late 1950’s, that the teenage generation be exposed to black Blues musicians.
The Term Paper on African American Media White Black
The Perpetuation of Negative Images of African Americans through Mass Media Why as white people have we been lulled into thinking its safe to be around other white people. Why have we been taught since birth that it's the people of that other color we need to fear? They " re the ones that will slit your throat (Moore 57). The mass media has played and will continue to play a crucial role in the ...
However, white Blues musicians were another story. The distribution of Blues music was eased into the public by using white covers of black artists (Covers and Dances).
Ironically enough, the white covers of these black artist’s music never climbed as high on the top-seller list as the ones originally put out by the black musicians themselves. In 1956, white musician Pat Boone did a cover of the black Blues artist Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti’ that reached number 18 on the bestseller chart. However, when Little Richard put out his own release of ‘Long Tall Sally’ later in that same year, before Boone put out his cover of it, Little Richard already had it at number six.
This simply proves that, however attempting to slow the eventual rise of black artists, they were in fact hastening the inevitable. ‘Nothing did more than the cover phenomenon to facilitate a mass market for r&b and extend the opportunities for black artists… .” (Ward 44).
These covers simply expedited the process of the mass exposure of the public, and this quickly developed a curious fondness for Blues and its African culture.
Eventually, it did not matter who was singing, as long as it was performed well. This Blues phenomenon created a neutral ground for both blacks and whites to share and, henceforth, improve their relationship. Although the black slaves had long been freed, notably there remained in the southern United States an excessive number of restrictions on the black population. These were the infamous “Jim Crow” laws. However, when the blacks and whites got together at dances, these seemed to begin to falter and then disappear.
The Term Paper on Black or White
American society is portrayed in Michael Jackson’s song “Black or White. ” Whereas the racism is defined as a superior behavior against other race-thus making it inferior, the singer refers to this term as “See, it’s not about races, just places, faces, where your blood comes from is where your space is. ” Michael Jackson, one of the most influential artists in the music industry, calls for ...
The dances would begin with the officials stringing a rope dividing the dance floor in half to keep the races from mingling. ‘As the evening wore on, the music was able to swallow up the Jim Crow laws… [and] it was always the whites who instigated the crossover because a black man doing so risked being lynched’ (How the Blues Covers & Dances).
Another beautiful display of this liberalism was when the radio became integrated. About 80 members of the Ku Klux Klan were beating down the doors of an Alabama radio station for playing the talent of black Blues artist Shelley ‘Playboy’s t ewart. Their aim that night was to kill the owner sitting inside.
The owner, Ray Mahoney, suggested that the Ku Klux Klan did not think that ‘The Playboy’ was good enough to play for them. All 800+ of the white kids inside jumped out the doors of the station and proceeded to assault the Klan, the same race as they, to fight for one black man (Integrated Radio).
Literally, they saved the poor black man’s life that night; symbolically, they helped save the entire black race from such persecution. While this sort of activity seemed to happen while the music was playing, and playing good, this remains symbolic of the whites’ willingness to deconstruct the racism and prejudice prominent of the time. After Elvis, the barriers between black and white music were broken down entirely. The majority of white teenagers, and those within other age brackets, began to see the significance of the Blues in music and lifestyle, and all were worshipping the music and its musicians-white and black.
It was because of Blues music that white kids ventured into black areas and had a sense of “fair play” long before the civil rights movement (Blues and Rock).
As there will always be, there were those people who were disgusted with this sort of music, behavior, belief, and lifestyle. However, historically and recently, this is disregarded as “conservative fluff’ and discarded in a hurry. Once the Blues got this far, there was no mercy and no turning back.
It seemed as though Blues music did more for the civil rights movement than Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education (Blues and Rock).
The Term Paper on Blues Music As A Vivid Reflection Of The Black American Life And Culture
Blues Music As A Vivid Reflection of The Black American Life And Culture Blues can be justly called the Black-American music. It reflects the history and culture of the blacks in America from the times when they were slaves till the present days. Translating the emotion into music, blues performers cry, hum, moan, plead, rasp, shout, and howl lyrics and wordless sounds while creating instrumental ...
Blues was similar to a small leak on a dam, and once the water broke through, it was best to watch it run its course. Traditional Blues music is reflected in modern music, which displays vague or blatant Blues influences. However, the Napoleons of the Blues shall never be forgotten because they fought a war America had at one time decided it could never win.
The music instilled faith into the hearts of many black Americans and at the same time instilled empathy and passion in the white Americans. It not only congregated people, it congregated two separate cultures, both as different as black and white.