Dissertation Writers: How has Black popular music (blues, soul, hip-hop) continued the tradition of the “sorrow song”?
1. The Negro Spirituals have been called the only indigenous music of America. Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? Provide evidence.
2. During the 1950s and 1960s, Motown Records and Staxx Records represented the two poles of soul music. How did the Motown and Staxx represent the belief of soul music by Black people for black people (Staxx) and soul music by Black people for mainstream (white) consumption? Provide examples.
3. In “The Sorrow Songs”, W.E.B Du Bois argues the sorrow songs represented a black folk culture—with its origins in slavery—unadulterated by the civilizing impulses of a northern black church, increasingly obsessed with respectability and with Western aesthetic criteria (rules of beauty and acceptance). How has Black popular music (blues, soul, hip-hop) continued the tradition of the “sorrow song”?