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Black music is a term encompassing music produced or inspired by black people, including African music traditions and African popular music as well as the music genres of the African diaspora, including Afro-Caribbean music and African American music. These genres include negro spiritual, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, soul, funk, ska, reggae, dub reggae, house, detroit techno and hip hop.

Black music in Britain received its first serious journalistic coverage in Black Music magazine (1973 - 1984).



Music is a monumental part of Black culture because it has the power to unify people, and cross borders. Just one song can have the power to bring millions of people from all different backgrounds together. It is a matter of taste and opinions, not intellectual arguments. Another important fact that ties music to black communities is that it has visible roots in Africa. It was a way that the early slaves could express themselves and communicate when they were being forcibly relocated and when there were restrictions on what cultural activities they could pursue. In a time where their world was being turned upside down, music served as an escape and form of communication/expression for early black communities. The ability of music to act as a binding factor provides the black culture with a strong sense of connectivity. The beginnings of black music as a separate genre in the United States started with the advent of slave spirituals and gospel music.

The term can also be used in a derogatory manner to refer to musical genres with strong African-American influence, such as hip hop music, which also have a presence among white people.


See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit

  • Spencer, Jon Michael. Black hymnody: a hymnological history of the African-American church (1992)