Music Industry

This page is about the impact of racism on the music industry.

The beginning of black music

Until the end of the 1930s, concert seats were divided by race, and topics such as racism were never discussed in the music industry. The first song to address racial issues was performed by a woman named Billie Holiday. The song was called "Strange Fruit" which addressed the issue of lynching. The lyrics were written by songwriter Miropol, which was inspired from an image that he saw of a black man hanging from a tree. The song sold over a million copies and had an emotional and conscious impact on people across the United States.

Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson

In 1966, a sibling music group called the Jackson 5 was formed. Initially, the members were Jackie (15), Tito (13), Germain (12), Marlon (9), Michael (8) Jackson, and the group had a huge impact on the music world. In 1969, Michael Jackson performed "I Want You Back" at The Ed Sullivan Show, which soon led many to be inspired by him. Michael also became very popular and was often featured on television and radio, giving several black children dreams that they thought were impossible such as becoming famous and accepted by the world. In 1972 Michael Jackson left the group and continued to work as a solo artist. He released various popular albums such as "Thriller", was known as King Of Pop, and won several grammy awards. He made significant achievements as a black artist.

Rise of black artists

In the late 1900s, many black artists such as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye came surfacing and began to receive as much attention as white artists. More and more black artists' songs dealt with racial issues, including Michael Jackson's "Black or White" which was immensely popular. Furthermore, songs that presented pride in being black became popular, such as Stevie Wonder's "Innervision".

Present Day

Currently, there are many black artists in the music industry, such as Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar. Artists are tackling the issue of discrimination, by addressing racial issues through music and art. Recently, Childish Gambino's "This Is America" ​​released in 2018 became very popular. Both the music video and lyrics addressed issues such as gun violence in the United States as well as black culture being taken as entertainment in modern society.