Recently, Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper continued their Hallowed Sound series, highlighting Black legacies in American music. The latest articles highlight the “eclectic generation of Black country, roots and Americana artists who are blurring genre lines and forcing change within the music industry.” In addition, the series includes a piece from iconic country superstar Darius Rucker who chronicles what he’s seen of reparational equity for Black artists in the genre.
“When you have people that talented, it’s important to get them represented. And the more that happens, the bigger our audience is going to get because there’s going to be more people of color looking at country music in a different way and saying, “You know, I do like that,” says the “Beers and Sunshine” vocalist. “And I guarantee you, if you give it a shot, you’ll find something you like.”
Regarding Black people’s historical connection to country’s roots, he adds, “We took elements of all those different musical genres and made it country. The banjo originated in Africa. It came over with slaves, and now it’s one of the biggest instruments in country music. Hank Williams Sr. listened to all of those blues players. I think African Americans have had a profound effect on country music.”
“Country music has this stigma of rebel flags and racism, and that’s changing. I think it’s changing drastically,” Rucker says in conclusion. “And I’m just glad. I hope I’m remembered as one of the people that tried to fight that, and one of the reasons that changed.”