His Woodstock Performance Upset Many White Americans

Jimi Hendrix
Shonda Buchanan
August 27, 2020

All his life, white people harassed him. In the army, in his hometown of Seattle, in Jim Crow America.

Army officers who shouted in his face knew this kid with soft hands did not belong. No one cared enough to see his genius. But soon, the world would.

When Al Hendrix bought his 12 year-old son a guitar, he never suspected what Jimi would become.

Jimi spent years playing the “Chitlin’ Circuit” without much success – but all the while he was innovating how the electric guitar was played. Then a massive opportunity arose to show the world what he could do.

When Woodstock asked him to headline the massive festival in 1969, Black men in the Vietnam war were dying at extremely high rates. America was killing and abusing Black people at home AND abroad. He had to make a statement!

The National Anthem erupted from his guitar! But it wasn’t any old Star-Spangled Banner. Within, you could hear bombs dropping and violence ringing out from his deft playing. His anti-war message was in his music.

White Americans were FURIOUS!

Unfortunately, Jimi Hendrix died mysteriously only a year later.

Still, this legend’s story reminds us to use our gifts to persist, resist, and challenge racism in every way possible.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: