The Belleville Three

In the Black History Month post on Sister Rosetta Tharpe I talked about the far-reaching impact black Americans have had on practically every music genre to be developed in the US. Today, I want to introduce you to Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson – the three friends that gave birth to techno and who influenced music around the world. Continue reading

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Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw is a professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, specializing on race and gender issues. She is an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory. She introduced the idea of intersectionality to feminism.

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Richard Antoine White

This article from The Daily Beast was in my Facebook newsfeed today, presenting me with the perfect opportunity for this Black History Month series to feature not only a contemporary figure, but someone from New Mexico! Meet Richard Antoine White aka Raw Tuba – the first African-American to receive a doctorate of music in tuba performance. Quite the achievement when you learn that only 1.8% of symphony members in the US are African-American.

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Black Americans have influenced every style of music since they were brought here during the slave trade. With the sheer volume of trailblazing musicians in the African American community, I could easily devote Black History Month to posts about their contributions to American culture. Ragtime, blues, jazz, gospel, be-bop, rock-n-roll, reggae, funk, ska, rap, sampling, hip-hop, disco, house, techno…all of these were born in black American communities. Heavy metal came from blues and rock & roll. Punk was influenced by ska. Country music traces back to blues (and the racist black–face minstrel music of Emmett Miller.)

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Black History Month & Carter G. Woodson

I haven’t seen a lot on social media so far this month that celebrates the accomplishments of black people. Black History Month is not some token time to appease black people, and it’s not a time to simply recognize well-known black people. It’s a time for us to learn and acknowledge the far-reaching and deep impact that black people have had in every aspect of our society. It is vital that we remember that America was born from the suffering of black people (and indigenous and Chinese). But, it is also vital that we be pro-active in learning and sharing and celebrating the contributions they have made to art, science, math, literature, pop culture, politics, social structure, and so much more.

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