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Beyonce caused a stir at the country music awards

To all the racists who hated on Beyonce’s performance at the Country Music Awards:

Have several seats and open up a history book, because class is now in session.

book

NeNe’s ready to teach.

First and foremost, like all forms of American pop music, country music was started largely for and by Black people. Although country music is now viewed fundamentally as white people shit, without Black folks, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and whoever the hell else ya’ll listen to would be insignificant. But this wouldn’t be the first time you co-opted our creations, now would it?

Image from Typepad

Elvis Presley who got rich off of Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog”

Image from Bossip

Justin Timberlake: Biggest appropriator of all time.

Image of G-Eazy, also known as "White Drake."

Image of G-Eazy, also known as “White Drake.”


The book Blues People by LeRoi Jones, also known as Amiri Baraka, artfully explains the historical connection between Black culture and American music such as: Blues, country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and the list goes on. Country music was created by African-Americans living in the rural South, employing elements of the blues (also created by Black people) and the banjo — originally an African instrument.

Additionally, how did history become so whitewashed that we forgot that Ray Charles was one of the original country artists? Labeled as one the 100 most influential country singers in Life magazine in 1994, he also had one of the first country albums to sell over a million records.

But let’s be honest, giving credit to Black folks for country music would have white people in Red states doing the do si do on their way to vote for Trump feel really uncomfortable, and rightfully so. Being a white supremacist while rocking out to music invented by the same people you insist on terrorizing and disenfranchising is awkward, to say the least. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1NNoWW52Zw

 

This is another reason why Beyonce’s Lemonade was so revolutionary. Her song “Daddy Lessons,” paid homage to country music’s African-American roots by tying it to her fundamental upbringing as a southern Black woman. Let’s hope more Black artists follow suit and embrace country’s African roots,  And to the racist bigots who got all in their feelings when they watched Queen Bey on stage at the CMAs:

raw

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Heather was born in Chicago and raised in Pasadena, California and proudly claims Oakland as her adopted home. She has a B.A. in African-American Studies from Smith College (proud Smithie), and a Masters in Education Leadership from New York University. Heather's spent the past decade working in the field of educational equity and advocacy. She currently teaches Child and Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University and manages a blog called What's Happening Black Oakland? She also contributes to Blavity, a blog for black millennials. Heather's committed to writing interesting and relevant stories that aren't being covered by the mainstream media, while straying away from the single story that is usually imposed on people of color. In her free time she enjoys traveling and going to live shows.

Comments
  • The Country music really was a mix of many people the British ,the Northern Europe , and Black Coke’s of the south . To all I say THANK YOU ! The world owes the Folks that created this a Giant Thank you. This should show all that when People work together Great things Will happen!
    The world should learn from this time . When people share there knowledge Look what can we create . THANK YOU AMERICA. Bill

    Sep 18, 2019
  • Anonymous

    You’re writing about something you have no idea .Country music originally started with the fiddle tunes and ballads brought over from England,Scotland ,and Wales. Many songs have their roots from various mountain phrasings. There are certainly influences mixed in from slaves as well. But there are also stark differences as well as many similarities. Many bluegrass and older mountain songs are rooted firmly in the country people from Europe. Country Music has a fascinating history and is an amalgamation of many styles . No group can come out and say we created it. The differences in many cases are cultural differences. There are different singing and instrumentals styles among different people’s and yet an admiration exists. Robert Johnsons guitar style is different from Merle Travis. Ray Charles’ singing is different from Hank Williams. Ernest Tubb’s ballads are different than Otis Redding’s. But if one has an open mind he will acknowledge the differences and appreciate each for what bring to the table. But we need to stay away from the absurd argument that one group of people created everything and everything has need stolen from them.

    Jun 15, 2020
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