Black Protest Music

AFRI 1230 S01 [CRN: 26628]

This courses surveys African American protest music through research and performance. At every point in American history, African Americans have crafted music to speak out against racial injustices. This course highlights the music of three specific moments in African American history: 1) spirituals of the enslaved; 2) music of the classical phase of the Civil Rights movement; and 3) burgeoning protest music of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Students study the sociocultural contexts informing the performances of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé, among others. Students gain critical analytical skills for engaging music as cultural production, commodity, and vehicle of activism. Ultimately, this course equips students to situate BLM music within the longer history of African American musical activism, and it provides space for students to perform and compose black protest music.
Section specific notes:
This course is part reading/research and part performance. Despite the hybrid designation, this course is taught fully online. You should expect that all or some portion of the regular Wednesday class time will be used for the purpose of class meeting via Zoom. Course overrides will be given in the first week of class after students have a chance to attend the first class and complete a survey explaining why they want to take the course and how they could contribute. The survey will be available during the first class. You must complete the survey to obtain a course override.
Spring 2021
Credit Hours
Maximum Enrollment
Primary Instructor
15:00 - 17:30 Wed - from Jan 20, 2021 to Apr 23, 2021