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Category: African American History

Multi-colored stained glass windows on the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

On Linda Martell and Country Music

Posted by: Nicholas A. Brown-Cáceres

The following is a guest post by Morgan Davis, Music Reference Specialist. As music lovers finally exhale after the highly anticipated release of Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter,” we are once again reminded of the music mogul’s ability to remind us of cultural histories long overlooked and buried. Like many American pastimes, country music found itself dominated …

Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin performing on an alto saxophone in the Coolidge Auditorium. Wearing a gold jacket and white top.

Now Streaming: January 2024 Edition

Posted by: Nicholas A. Brown-Cáceres

The Library of Congress is proud to offer free digital programming from its collections for the enjoyment of audiences that are not able to attend our live events in Washington, D.C. The Music Division works with colleagues throughout the Library to ensure that past events in the Concerts from the Library of Congress series, educational …

Early Hip-Hop at the Library of Congress

Posted by: Heather Darnell

August 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Hip-Hop, said to have begun in 1973 at a little South-Bronx party hosted by DJ Kool Herc. But years before Herc introduced New York to the breakbeat, African-American music and spoken-word traditions had been brewing in the great social unrest of the 60s and 70s  to create a …

Portrait image of Billy Strayhorn by William Gottlieb

Join us for our Salute to Strayhorn, June 8-10, 2023

Posted by: David Plylar

We are delighted that our Salute to Strayhorn, a festival of events dedicated to the life and work of Billy Strayhorn, will take place in multiple venues at the Library of Congress from June 8-10. These events have been delayed for years due to forces beyond our control, but at last we will be returning …

Black and white photograph portrait of Mary Cardwell Dawson seated at a table, elbow rested on table and hand posed under her chin.

Mary Cardwell Dawson: Upcoming Lecture at the Library of Congress

Posted by: Cait Miller

On Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at 7pm in the James Madison Building’s Montpelier Room, Dr. Karen Bryan, Dean of the Arts at Pima Community College, is presenting a lecture: “Self-Determination on the Operatic Stage: Mary Cardwell Dawson and African American performance in Washington, DC and New York City.” Music educator, choir director, opera director, and administrator Mary Cardwell Dawson (1894-1962) founded the National Negro Opera Company, the country's first African-American opera company, in 1941. The Library of Congress is home to the National Negro Opera Company Collection, which documents the Company's productions, operations, fundraising efforts, as well as as Dawson's career and impact.

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Florence Price’s Fantasie Nègre No. 1

Posted by: Library of Congress

On March 1, 2022, In the Muse published a blog post announcing a finding aid to the Music Division’s Florence B. Price Music Manuscripts. Although we are proud to enhance discoverability of the Library’s Florence Price manuscripts with the finding aid, the blog post contained some inaccurate information and lacked appropriate citations. After considering the concerns raised with the post, the …