Black Women in Music

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Black Women in Music

Music is a reflection of the community from which it came. African American women

have been reflecting the social, economic, and political experiences of the African American

community through thier music past and present. Each era of change in the African American

community has brought about a African American female revoluntionary. Examples of this can

be seen through the blues and jazz singers of the Harlem Renaissance, soul singers of the civil

rights movement, and the Ryhem and Blues, Hip Hop vocalist of the present day.

In the early 1900’s, America was a place of racial division and inequality. The early

1900’s was a time when African American men and women, although by law were free, were not

even considered to be human beings in the eyes of European Americans. African Americans in

the south were engaged in agricultural occupations. Most African Americans of the south

worked under a system called sharecropping, where landowners provided land for workes,

whose responsibility it was to raise crops and at harvest time, the workers were to give a share of

their profits to the landowner. Under the sharecropping system, African Americans workers

were often mistreated by European Americans, which kept them in a state of poverty. The

Sourthern states began to pass Jim Crow laws that segregated African Americans from schools,

neighborhoods, jobs, and public facillities.

Many African Americans sought to escape the racism of the south by moving to more

industrialized cities in the North. With the movement of African Americans to the North came

the Harlem Renaissance, an African American movement in New York in which African

Americans began to more freely express themselves and th...

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...the affairs of love in “Ex-factor” and “Nothing Even Matteres”,

self-respect in “Doo-woop that Thang”, and the joys of motherhood in “To Zion”. Lauryn Hill

and her music is confrontational, strong, forthright and intelligent.

Each era of change in the African American community has brought about a African American

female revoluntionary. Bessie Smith and Billy Holiday sung about the African American

experience during the Harlem Reinassance wih their blues and jazz. Aretha Franklin’ s soul

music reflected the confidence and pride of African Americans during the civil rights movement.

Eryka Badu and Lauryn Hill ‘s Rythim and blues and Hip Hop reflects the African American

experience of the present. Bessie Smith, Billy Holiday, Aretha Frankiln, Eryka Badu, and

Lauryn Hill are five African American female revoluntionaries singers of the past and present.

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