During the month of October, the UK celebrates Black History Month (which is everyday), listen to the playlist curated by DJ Style for St Paul’s Carnival Spotify Page. For over the last 30 years DJ Style has been a integral part of Bristol music & club scene. From hosting his own radio show, mixtapes and resident night Code of the Streets, which makes its 18th Anniversary this year.
IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC TO BLACK CULTURE
Music has always been significant part of black culture, with its origins firmly rooted in Africa, and when Africans were brought to America in captivity and sold into slavery, they carried their culture with them as best they could. Music and dance — an integral part of African life — became an important part of life for blacks in America. Slaves from different countries, tribes and cultures used singing as a way to communicate during the voyage. Both slaves and free blacks used music as an accompaniment to work, worship, and celebration. There are renown song writers, musicians and profile composers dating back to 1800, which led orchestras and string bands that gave gala public performances in Philadelphia and other locales. Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, known as the Black Swan, toured the North from 1851 and 1853; her voice was compared favourably to that of international opera star Jenny Lind. Both Johnson and Greenfield also toured England and performed for Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace. From the first arrival of Africans in America, traditional tribal music strongly influenced the music of American blacks. (Source PBS.Org)
Black music has influence endless amount of culture, and many have tried to emulate its influence and the various genres which it has created over the centuries. From Classical to Rock Roll, from Reggae to Drum Bass, and one of the biggest culture to this day is Hip Hop. In a year that marks its 50th Anniversary, Rap music continues to influence generations from its origins in the South Bronx New York City, it has had a massively impacted the UK and particularly here in Bristol. The emergence of Hip Hop in UK brought so some many different cultures together, with music and the arts playing a major party in embracing cultural heritage over the decades. Wether it was Punks, Rastas or Soul Heads, Hip Hop spoke for the people, and created a underground movement that was marginalise by mainstream society, and it was able to unify blacks & white together like no other music (apart from Reggae). The same way Reggae was able to have that impact during the 60s 70s & 80s, its cultural value and it’s resistance to persecution was central point of its message. So whenever we talk about Black History, it’s not a single month, it’s centuries of History throughout the whole world.