History of African-American Music

Timeline created by tpolk
In Music
  • First Legislation Against African American Music

    In response to the Stono Rebellion in 1739, South Carolina enacts the "New Slave Code" or the "Negro Act" which concerns itself with banning several minute aspects of slave life, most notably for this purpose, the banning of musical instruments among slaves. (Peretti, xi) & (Slaveryinamerica.org)
  • First African Hymnal Published

    First African Hymnal Published
    The first African Methodist Episcopal hymnal, "A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns, Selected from Various Authors" is published by Rev. Richard Allen. (Peretti, xi), (The Black Perspective in Music, 153), (docsouth.unc.edu for picture)
  • New York City Presents Performances by African American Musicians

    New York City Presents Performances by African American Musicians
    The African Grove Tavern presents black musicians for entertainment of African American Population. After staged riots by near-by white theater owner, Tavern shut down as a nusiance. (Peretti, xi), (maap.columbia.edu)
  • Frederick Douglass describes Slave Songs

    Although the songs of slaves had long been observed by both slave owners and white passer-bys, Frederick Douglass explains in his autobiographical "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" the somber and sorrowful songs of the enslaved African Americans (Peretti, xi)
  • Thomas Wiggins Performs at the White House

    Thomas Wiggins Performs at the White House
    Thomas Wiggins, "Battle of Mannassas" At age 10, Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins, a blind and autistic slave, is the first African American to perform at the White House for President James Buchanan, while he is rented out as a slave-musician for $15,000. (Peretti, xi), (blackpast.org)
  • Thomas Wiggins Publishes

    Blind Tom Wiggins publishes Oliver Galop and Virginia Polka (blackpast.org)
  • "Slave Songs of the United States" Published

    The first collection of its time (Peretti, xi), (Image from docsouth.unc.edu)
  • Fisk University Jubilee Singers

    Jubilee Singers
    The first University accepting applications irrespective of race tours a troop of a nine-member choral ensemble to raise much needed money. (Peretti, xi) (fiskjubileesingers.org)
  • James Monroe Trotter publishes "Music and Some Highly Musical People"

    James Monroe Trotter publishes
  • George W. Johnson

    First African-American phonograph recording
  • Composer Antonin Dvorak acknowledges Sprituals

    Famous composer Dvorak claims that spirituals can become the basis for America's Classical Music
  • Chicago Columbian Exposition

    African-American ragtime pianists share ideas at the Columbian Exposition
  • First Black Musical Comedy opens on Broadway

    "In Dahomey" written by Will Cook and starring african americans opens in Broadway
  • First concert of Black Music presented at Carnegie Hall

    JAmes Reese Europe's Chef Club presents ar Carnegie Hall
  • Hellfighters Orchestra in the Great War

    The Harlem Hellfighters fights and performs in Paris
  • Broome Records

    First African-American owned record company is founded in Boston
  • First Blues Recording

    Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" first ever blues recording
  • Duke Ellington Premier

    Duke Ellington's suite "Black, Brown and Beige" premeirs at Carnegie Hall
  • Marian Anderson

    Marian Anderson is the First African-American singer to appear in the Metropolitan Opera
  • Motown Records Founded

    Started by Berry Gordy Jr., origionally called Tamla Records
  • March on Washington

    Marian Anderson, among others,performs at the March on Washington
  • Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

    Formed in Chicago to help promote African-American musicians
  • Isaac Hayes recieves Academy Award

    For his "Theme from 'Shaft'" Isaac Hayes is the first black songwriter to recieve an Academy Award
  • Micheal Jackson

    Michael Jackson's "Thriller" released, best selling album of all time
  • Gangsta Rap

    First nationally popular gangsta rap albums begin appearing sparking controversies over Hip-Hop
  • Period: to

    Slavery Era

    Time from the arrival of first Africans until the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln
  • Period: to

    Great Awakening

    Revivals involve African Americans in Protestant hymn singing (Peretti, xi)
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    Louis Armstrong releases recordings

    Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings released