How Black Music Has Been Silenced Will Make You Sick

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May 22, 2019

Music has been a part of Black culture since the days of pre-colonial Africa, before colonizers mutilated and ravaged the continent and enslaved millions of our ancestors.

Despite this violence, enslaved Africans held tightly to a tradition that would assist them throughout their imminent hardships. That tradition is music.

And thus, since the day we stepped onto North American soil, Black music has been a threat to the status quo.

Enslaved West Africans brought with them the powerful ability to communicate via the polyrhythmic sounds of drums. Those held captive in separate camps could remain in touch with each other, despite long distances. Escapes and rebellions were planned this way.

Masters silenced us then by taking away drums. But our ancestors just stomped their feet, slapped their hands to their bodies, used spoons, washboards - their voices! - whatever they could find to resist!

And in the process, more Black music, Black unity, and Black resistance were born.

Perhaps it’s this threat to white supremacy - the way our music unites us - that lingers in the subconsciousness of white America today.

Perhaps it’s why D.C. gentrifiers tried to shut down go-go music. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure: we must keep resisting, and keep the music alive.

We have a quick favor to ask:

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