Discussion Question

Compare and contrast the Time Life documentary “The History of Rock n’ Roll” with the article, “Why is Everyone Always Stealing Black Music?” by Wesley Morris as part of the NY Times 1619 Project. What are the different ways they approach doing history?

1. Post one paragraph answering this question

2. Respond to this comment and start of the comment with Hello, Nico

Nico’s comment:

In “The History of Rock n’ Roll” documentary, you immediately notice that all of the performers on stage are white. It credits the entirety of evolution of popular music in America to white musicians. The video depicts rock n roll to be originated by white people and black music coming in later with some soul mixed in. Record labels wanted white artists to reproduce original songs performed by black singers because they thought it would be more appealing to the white consumers as well as generating more profits. Although the narrator spoke facts, he also glorified the white man as if a black person’s talent was acceptable to be stolen.

In contrast, the NY Times article “Why is Everyone Always Stealing Black Music?”, the history is portrayed in a completely opposite way. The article was more opinionated and the author had more of an angry, sarcastic, informative tone that caused the reader to understand his points better. Morris also describes the creation of Jim Crow and the popular minstrel shows. He made it clear that black music was pushed back because of the color of their skin which is unacceptable. Morris found it absurd that white artists attempted to recreate black music because the black sound is sacred and unique.


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