Talk:African-American music

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This Page Must Be Deleted[edit]

This page must be deleted because the writer doesn't understand the difference between culture, race and racial prejudice. The reason the word culture does not relate to race is because there would have to be someone to dictate to their race what their culture is or is not without the opinion of the entire race(eliminating individuality); in other words if someone of a certain race created a genre of music and even though everyone of the same race (of the person that started the genre) hated this genre they would still be associated by this genre racially.

This is a form of racial segregation as well, which is racism and will not be tolerated on the Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mark667 (talkcontribs) 03:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

RESPONSE---- I completely agree! While the writer attempted to begin with African music, and how it influenced other music in the U.S., the views (and they ARE views, not facts, for the most part) are inherently racist. This article is NOT unbiased or neutral. The roots of American music is one thing - yes, most of American music is rooted in African traditions brought over during slavery. But, to assign one genre of music to one specific racial category in the U.S. is racist. You do need to recognize the beginning roots and influences of a genre, but to state (as false fact) that the genres persist as purely one race's music is nonsense.

No one can deny the affects and influences of African Americans in the entire U.S. culture. But to assign all African American people in the U.S. to certain types of genres IS generalizing, stereotyping, and misinformed.

The entire article here should at the very least be renamed to the "African roots and influences in American music," or something similar. However, even then, I would recommend that a different writer - someone more aware of his or her personal biases, prejudices, and perspective - author it.

If this article is rewritten, there is MUCH to fix. For one thing - there are entire genres of music missing, such as Ragtime music (made popular by Scott Joplin). But really, just because a pioneering musician is African American, you cannot say that the genre is African American. And to begin a new discussion topic, there is much to be discussed about the persistence of hip-hop and rap music, and the Black stereotypes that it conveys to popular America and young Black children.

Additionally - the term "urban" is completely NOT "race-neutral." It is a euphemism meant to imply someone from "the hood" or someone who listens to "hip-hop." Essentially, it's a misinformed catch-all phrase that is meant to include Black people and people of color. Just think about the connotations that the word "urban" brings up - streets, crime, poverty, money (or lack thereof), and many others - and then think of naming any Black person (or their music), from anywhere in the U.S., as urban. Would that make sense? There is so much diversity out there, and within the Black community, that these labels are not correct. For more discussion about it, check out [1]. [1]

Now, I know that I did not include citations here. I am in the middle of work and sadly do not have the time to research right now. I hope that more people get in on this discussion, and use critical race theorists, critical pedagogy skills, and other social justice methods to help misinformed writers understand their inherent racism. As a schoolteacher, I don't blame them if they were never given the tools; I just hope they take it upon themselves to learn. (talk) 21:06, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Concert music[edit]

This article is well thought-out, but could elaborate on the music associated with the elite concert format as well (William Grant Still is a good example)--more could be said about the gradual elite appropriation of jazz throughout the 20th century. There is also some inaccurate information. For example, polyphonic music (music that features the simultaneous presence of two or more melodic lines) was not a feature common to the areas of African from which slaves were taken---polyrhythmic and polymetric music, however, is a highly wide-spread feature of sub-Saharan African music. Also, Scott Joplin's ragtime (and ragtime in general) was out of vogue by the end of WWI, and by the time of Harlem Renaissance, jazz (of which ragtime was an ancestor) was rapidly gaining ascendancy across the United States, and certainly among black intellectuals. Finally, more can be said about the pervasiveness of features common to sub-Saharan African music in music cultivated by many African Americans musicians through the present day: cyclical repetition with subtle variations as the music progresses, emphasis on percussion instruments and strong rhythmic pulse, heavy syncopation, greater emphasis on group performance and closer integration of music and daily life (which contributes to the perception that many blacks are "musical"). [musicus 26 July]

Talk:Country music#Negro spirituals[edit]

Anybody who is interested in this article may also be interested in the discussion at Talk:Country music#"Negro spirituals". Tuf-Kat 20:37, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it seems like you want to let slip the dogs of war on your side. It is proof that you are Afrocentric, by coming here for POV support in numbers. I am watching your every move! ScapegoatVandal 14:04, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Feel free to search for supporters at talk:white supremacy or whatever, if you like. Tuf-Kat 14:28, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

This is exactly what I had predicted. You do have the POV button on firm pressure. ScapegoatVandal 14:32, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

First black classical piece performed by major orchestra[edit]

The African American music article states that "The first Symphony by a "black" composer to be performed by a major orchestra was William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony with the New York Philharmonic." According to my research, the first black composer work, by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, was performed by the Chicago Symphony in 1899. (Source: <>

Contemporary popular music[edit]

I think this article could use some info about the overwhelming influence of black music on contemporary popular music. Whatever you hear on the radio would NEVER have happened without the blues!

This article's not exactly in great shape, but that's pretty much what it is about, AFAICT. It needs expansion on folk music and dance, theater, classical music (needs expansion everywhere really, but those topics are worse off right now). Tuf-Kat 22:54, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

small problem[edit]

"The end of the 20th century and the dawn of the new millenum brought us some of the most mundane and uninspired African American music."

That statement is incredibly opinionated. It should be taken out.

Where is the basis for this?[edit]

"African American genres are the most important ethnic vernacular tradition in America as they have developed independent of African traditions from which they arise more so than any other immigrant groups, including Europeans; make up the broadest and longest lasting range of styles in America; and have, historically, been more influential, interculturally, geographically, and economically, than other American vernacular traditions"

I personally agree with a good deal of this sentiment, but I find it lacks any citation, and even if citation were present, is completely subjective in nature. In addition, stylistically I find it unclear and overly punctuated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:47, 13 February 2007 (UTC).

I agree and have tried to clear it up some. 20:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


Yes to merge Decoratrix 13:47, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Jimi Hendrix[edit]

How come Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest musicians ever, isn't even named on the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I think its because he wasn't making the kind of music described on this page, I do think its stupid because it does touch on British Blues rock which arguably spawned the music he was making. B.B. King is also unmentioned and he normally comes highly on greatest guitarist type lists, and he had an all Black Band and was Playing the Blues.( (talk) 01:12, 10 January 2010 (UTC))

Afro-Caribbean music?[edit]

Why does Afro-Caribbean music redirect here? There's not really anything in this article about it. Anchoress · Weigh Anchor · Catacomb 07:35, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Race music[edit]

The pre-WWII term 'race music' redirects here. But in the rhythm and blues article, it is claimed (with a reference) as a pre-cursor of that term. Does anyone object if I change the redirect? Earthlyreason (talk) 08:02, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

In theory no, but this article is so poor at present that I'd be reluctant to see many users directed here. For one thing, I don't think the term "race music" is mentioned here. But more fundamentally, the whole article (at least covering the period up to the 1980s) seems to be about the "influence" of African American music on so-called "mainstream" American music, which is objectionable in its own right - as though African Americans are not "mainstream". The article requires a lot of fundamental rewriting in my view. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:09, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Not to defend the article -- I haven't been involved it it and haven't even really read it. But, well we aren't, exactly. More appropriate verbiage might refer to American popular culture instead.
There also doesn't seem to be any mention of how A-A music has been a means of effecting social change and equality, or of its role in the Civil Rights Movement. If it weren't for our music, we'd probably still be drinking out of separate water fountains and riding the backs of buses. deeceevoice (talk) 23:34, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Abrupt start?[edit]

The first section on historic traits is really just a list. It seems to me it would be better to start with something that incorporated this information into a small section of prose, perhaps actually mentioning Africa and its part in creating the forms of African American music before the Civil War. If there are no serious objections and no one gets their first I will come back and do this after fair time for comment.--Sabrebd (talk) 08:17, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Incomplete without a mention of Motown[edit]

nt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:39, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

I totally agree, I came on the talk page to flag up the exact same thing. Not sure how best to work it into the text of the article though. (talk) 14:06, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye are mentioned in the section on Mid-20th century (1940s-1960s), but I also agree that the references should be expanded - probably best by expanding those paras, but remembering also that there needs to be a proper balance with other labels (Atlantic, Stax, etc.) and their artistes. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:15, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

A published article worth possibly using as a resource[edit]

Ran across this article via Google Books while researching The Harmonizing Four and thought I'd highlight it for others.

  • "Black Music" (cover story), Black World/Negro Digest, November 1973.

While I realize it's hardly going to be comprehensive -- if nothing else, it's nearly 40 years old -- it makes an intriguing resource to which to point the user. Lawikitejana (talk) 22:44, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Grace Jones?[edit]

Why isn't Grace Jones even mentioned? (talk) 08:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC) juszanka

Title name[edit]

There is currently a discussion on the use (or none use) of hyphens and dashes covered by an Arbcom moratorium but when this is resolved there needs to be a discussion concerning the use of anything but a space between African and American. There are several cases where a hyphen has been used such as African-American literature and others that are not correct. Otr500 (talk) 14:52, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


The introduction is very unclear, and needs to be cleaned up.Vanishingcattle (talk) 05:34, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

"Involuntary Servitude"[edit]

The phrase "involuntary servitude" in the introduction seems to be rather euphemistic and complicated. Why isn't the simpler word "slavery" being used? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:00, 26 April 2013‎

Agreed. Now changed. WP:EUPHEMISM applies. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:38, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Black Music Redirect[edit]

At the British Black Music Editathon, we thought that Black Music should redirect to Music of the African diaspora. Leutha (talk) 16:12, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I just fixed it (it should have redirected to Black music), but I wouldn't object to both of those pages redirecting to Music of the African diaspora. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 22:36, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

2010s music[edit]

This section is needed? I don't feel qualified to make it myself but I'd discuss Beyonce some more. And Rihanna, KANYE WEST, Esperanza Spalding. Also I don't get the line about 'urban' being race-neutral. Shiningroad (talk) 21:51, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Interesting. Someone remarked upon how urban is not race-neutral on here in 2010. Anyone there?? Shiningroad (talk) 10:38, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Convert to Summary style[edit]

Any article trying to cover such a vast scope as this one does, should be converted to Summary style. There are already numerous articles about African-American music that would constitute the subtopics, or child articles. This article would then contain brief summaries of the individual subtopics, with each section header having a {{Main}} article template pointing to the fuller treatment in the independent child article. See WP:SUMMARY. For an example of an article written in Summary style, see History of music. Mathglot (talk) 23:23, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

More Info[edit]

The article should have more information and be updated no one from this decade is mentioned even though there is multiple people who should be incorporated into this article. Kylemalik20 (talk) 05:06, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:African-American gospel which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 23:19, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Influences worldwide[edit]

Shouldn't there be a new section that will describe how the African-American music influenced the music scenes outside the USA, including the British musicians that later led the British Invasion into America, as well as the South Korean pop scene which later began conquering across Asia and the Western world? JSH-alive/talk/cont/mail 18:28, 2 October 2019 (UTC)