June 12, 2020

Digital Dive is an extension of our Deep Dive program, which invites our audience to take a more in-depth exploration of our artists. This week our programming team takes a Digital Dive into the history of a genre we know is dear to our community and patrons.  

The Black roots of Folk music in America is often a history that’s left in the shadows and is one that’s important to embrace and celebrate. The Center is humbled to work with contemporary Black Folk artists from Keb Mo to local artist AJ Odneal to Taj Mahal to Queen Ida to Bobby McFerrin to Martha Redbone, to name a few. We want to amplify this history especially in the arts community! Here are a few resources we’ve compiled that provide historical context around the work of Black Folk artists in America. We hope there’s something new you can learn or be inspired by from these artists and texts.  



The Music of Black Americans a History by Eileen Southern 

Odetta, the Queen of Folk by Samantha Thornhill and Stephen Alcorn 

PASTE Magazine article on Contemporary Black Americana/Folk Artists 

Libba |The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten By Laura Veirs, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh 

Interview with Rhianna Giddens on What Folk Music Means to Her