• The Voice of GLee

Music IS Our Culture

It was a day I’ll never forget.

My NERVES. Notes, gripped in my hand. The rehearsed delivery, replaying in my head while I also had to remember to stand up straight, smile and keep my cap balanced atop my freshly styled locs. I inhaled. Then I started my speech. Middle school graduation. Hundreds of people were staring.

I'll rise unafraid. I'll rise up. High like the waves, I'll rise up in spite of the ache.

Andra Day’s voice was the wind that lifted my confidence. I continued my speech. Hundreds of people were listening.

The very next day, MY NERVES. AGAIN. Passport, clutched in my hand. Rehearsing the instructions for arrival into Madrid during my first study abroad trip. I had to stand attentively, smile and keep my wits about me in this new country. I inhaled. Then, the distinctive guitar intro to Despacito welcomed me. Actually, it seemed to blast every 10 seconds during my time there! That reggaeton beat became my anthem in 2017.

Music plays such a huge role in our lives! Every insignificant or important moment. Following your memories and/or helping you remember them. I’m sure that if you take a moment, you can think of a special moment associated with a particular song.

It's Black Music Month and we're here to remind you that black culture has made a statement all around the globe! We, the creators of the negro spiritual, gospel, rumba, blues, bomba, jazz, salsa, R&B, samba, rock and roll, soul, funk, reggae, hip hop, Go-Go, afrobeat, funk carioca, country, and A LOT MORE.

Let’s not forget the black music artists that have been whitewashed by history, like did you know that Beethoven, a staple for classical music, was a mixed black man and described to have a “brownish complexion” and a “flat, thick nose”?!

We are the BLUEPRINT!

Every place you go or travel to has been influenced by our culture.

So if you ever find yourself in Peru, look for our Landó and Cueca.

In the Dominican Republic? Listen to our Bachata and Merengue!

Dance your heart out in the UK's dubstep and Afro swing!

Or, maybe, the next time that your nerves start to rise, hum a little Andra Day to yourself.

Appreciate black culture with black music. Learn the history behind your favorite genres. It may add more significance to your memories! This IS our culture.

Author: R. Campbell


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