Politics and Blues Music?
I'm doing this project and I want to know how politics were involved with blues music. Any answer is very helpful!
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Blues music was very much derived from the concept of unfair political prejudice against black people, hence the nature of many of the songs.
It spawned from the genres of soul and gospel and turned into a completely new genre in itself. Political issues were mixed in with the traditional styles of soul and gospel to create a new, different genre. A bit like punk coming from rock, if you like.
The Harlem Renaissance saw the start of a spike in artistic and cultural activity amongst the black community, who were beginning to express themselves in creative ways that appealed to a large audience. This saw the growing popularity of blues music and in turnwas an ideal tool for protest against a government who was largely prejudiced against the African American community.
As for political interference with the genre, there were no direct conflicts between the government and blues artists, as blues music was not high on the political agenda, however for many of the members of the senate and congress who were against the idea of equal rights blues music and indeed protest in all its forms was highly frustrating, as the messages that were being carried in the music started to spread to a wider audience and so did questioning of the status that some members of the US government held African Americans in.
So, to sum it all up, blues music is steeped in a history that very much had ties to protest against politics and also the discrimination that was taking place at the time.
- blakeLv 41 decade ago
The condition of former slaves in the south after the reconstruction era in the south was horrible. Many black people migrated to the Northern Cities, such as Chicago, because of unfair business practices, continued lynchings, etc. Most of this started with the compromise of 1877, when Hayes became president, and the Northern troops were pulled out of the South. The Southerners then were able to treat black people however they wanted. The south then became almost as bad as it was during slavery.
Migration occurred to the northern cities, and the Delta blues moved with the people to Chicago. This is where the style "Chicago blues" comes from.
- MartinLv 71 decade ago
As the old cliche says-"The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad". Therefore, most blues songs tell of the singer's trouble and pain. This usually involves a woman or lack of money, but includes every subject under the sun, including politics. Many bluesmen (and women ;) have written political blues songs. Josh White, Lead Belly, & J.B. Lenoir are three that are known for their political songs, but there are many others
Josh White (Free & Equal Blues) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC4UXcxor_M
Lead Belly (Bourgeois Blues) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuNciPZlw8M
J.B. Lenoir (Vietnam Blues) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy6pMeTMvkQ