The Black Music Identity

in the 1950’s not a whole lot of people had respect for African american musicians. we discussed in class that because the visual marketing of music was not popular at this time as long as a singer sounded white, their records would sell. Similarly if a musician sounded black, their records would not sell, even if the artist behind them was white. This was a point in time just before the civil rights movement which forced the black artists into hiding their true identities so that their records would sell and so that white people would buy them. i think that this stripped the African american artists of their identity and authenticity.

I think that hiding the color of their skin caused them to lose their identity because they were not allowed to portray their real life experiences because people would know they were black, and they could not perform live because people would not want to see a black man perform. i think that this lack of identity also made the artists of this time less authentic because they were not allowed to show their true selves. they were too wrapped up in what the white people wanted them to do to realize what was best for the music.

I don’t think that the white people of this time had any respect for race music, i think most of them saw it as a joke, and that this can be seen by the people painting their faces black that were discussed in the article “Negro Experience in White America”. I thought it was awful how the white people had no respect for the black music and scrutinized them for writing about their life experiences. I think that this scrutiny and social fear of being black caused a lack of individuality and separateness in the black identity, i think it scared them into wanting to write music more like the white people so that they would not be culturally shamed and so that their records would sell.


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