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Music Stolen, Talent Erased

Enslaved Blacks brought their music to the United States when they were kidnapped and enslaved. Being forced to work from dawn until dusk, singing was an essential panacea. The swing and sway of the blade slipped into their arms and legs, creating dance. Bodies filled with pain, their minds filled with angst, they became the music. Their songs contained coded messages allowing them to communicate. Their songs were their salvation.  

Erasure of the who, how, and why of these “Negro Spirituals” was subtle. The songs became part of American culture with no acknowledgment of the suffering of their creators. Erasure has continued throughout the years. Black music has often been sabotaged and re-recorded by whites. Producers and studios have cheat musicians with unfair and devious contracts. 

Black songwriters, musicians, singers, and performers have greatly enhanced our national cultural experience. We must remember to give them credit. We must not destroy the beauty nor deny the magnitude of the contributions of Black music and Black talent. These attributes will never be blown away because notes twine around Black DNA, rhythm beats within their heartstrings and music is in their very souls. It will never go away.