Having traveled across the globe, and claimed to have been from Saturn, you’d think jazz artist Sun Ra would never be out of his comfort zone. However, the music composer was entering uncharted territory when he stepped inside a Chicago psychiatric hospital.
It was the late 1950s and Sun Ra knew that his music could carry medicinal properties. Even his own manager had faith that the artist was a healer. But the final test was a woman who had been sedentary for years.
Sun Ra didn’t hold back and played his music at the hospital as he would for anyone else. a patient rose to her feet and spoke to him. From then on, Sun Ra intentionally used his music to heal.
Numerous studies find that certain jazz music can lower stress and improve creativity and neural stimulation. Sun Ra’s music has the power to heal people, but more importantly, our culture has the power to heal. It’s how we’ve survived this long.
Black artists throughout history have contributed to the mental health space that we may have never imagined. Black art is more than entertainment, it is a powerful tool to improve everyday life. What part of our culture makes you feel whole?