New archive, Black Music History Library, launches online

A new online archive compiling resources about Black music history has launched.

The Black Music History Library was created by journalist Jenzia Burgos and aims to “make resources about Black music history as comprehensive and accessible as possible”. Spanning a wide array of genres, the directory features books, articles, documentaries, podcasts and more, all exploring the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating back as far as the 18th century. The library also points to various websites, newsletters, writers and musicologists whose areas of expertise include contemporary Black music history and evolution.

“There are many notable archives doing similar work, yet it isn’t uncommon for some to have a limited view of Black music—one which fuels US-centrism and a preference for vernacular music traditions,” writes Burgos on the website’s description. “This collection considers the term ‘Black music’ more widely, as it aims to address any instances in which Black participation led to the creation or innovation of music across the diaspora. Plainly speaking, that means just about every genre will be included here.”

Visit The Black Music History Library here, and read up on genres including electronic & dance, R&B/Soul, Disco and hip-hop. The online archive will be updated regularly, and is open to new submissions from readers and followers. 

You can also find a directory of collectives, organisations, charities, and initiatives working with the Black community in a number of different ways, as well as resources that you can use to educate yourself, get involved, and donate if you can here.

In DJ Mag’s recent Dance Music Is Black Music edition, we spoke to one of the organisers of one of the most exciting digital projects to emerge this year,Black Band Camp: a volunteer-run, community-driven database for showcasing and directly supporting Black artists. You can read that feature here

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