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  • Writer's pictureOmar Holloway

American History Music: The Blues - “The Black Man’s music in America been copied by every race that come to America... They tried to stop the Black man from singing in the cotton fields.”

Blues is a genre of music played across America, but it’s been home to the deep south for decades. It has been known to heal wounds left behind in Black communities.

According to Wikipedia, "Blues" developed in the American South by African slaves - many of whom were Muslim. An estimated 30% of African slaves brought to America were Muslim.


However, the roots of Blues are a never-ending debate.

Regardless of where it started, “Louisiana has one of the oldest Blues histories”, explained Baton Rouge Blues artist Henry Turner Jr.


“The Black Man’s music in America been copied by every race that come to America. So, it used to be against the law for, like country and western. It was against the law for the white man to sing the Blues... They tried to stop the Black Man from singing in the cotton fields,” expressed Lloyd “Teddy” Johnson Jr., owner of Teddy’s Juke Joint.

“They say if you listen at the baseline drum, (within) country and western, blues, rap - all it got the same line. Then they just changed it up different ways... The Blues is life. From the time you are born until you die...It’s just the life that the Black man and woman had to live.”


Turner said the Blues tells a story, but the narrative can change by region.

“They’ll say that’s an R&B song. What’s the difference? The difference is the culture and who is going to accept the music.”


*VIDEO: Honoring Black History: Uncovering the roots of Blues in Louisiana. Sydney Simone Entertainment >

*RehaB101 Original New School Webcast > #RehaB101ONSW newsfeed.

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