Lack of Diversity in Country Music
Start writing a post
Entertainment

There's A Lack Of Diversity In Country Music

There's too much ~white~ in country music.

406
There's A Lack Of Diversity In Country Music

For many, the mention of country music triggers an image of a middle-aged white man wearing a cowboy hat, sitting on a porch chair, and nonchalantly sipping beer. The harsh reality, though, is that the majority of popular country singers are exactly that—middle-aged white men.

The country music industry has gotten away with its racist actions, and overly white charts and award shows. A recent example of this behavior is the controversy over Beyoncé performing at the 50th Country Music Awards in 2016 where she performed "Daddy Lessons," a country song off her album Lemonade with Dixie Chicks. A stunning performance was met with backlash from country music lovers; the upset was a result of her lack of country background and racism.

There's a blatant lack of African Americans on the country music charts and many unjustly blame it on their poor participation.

But this dogma that African Americans don't partake in country music is a myth. In fact, black Americans helped create country music. Research by Patrick Huber shows that there were at least twenty-two racially integrated proto-country music recording sessions and approximately fifty African American musicians who played on hillbilly records alongside white country musicians before 1932. However, because of white-dominated consumer preferences and Jim Crow laws, the musicians were often not allowed to collaboratively produce music. This manifested itself in different "categories" within the same music genre. White musicians' music was labeled country and western while black musicians' music was labeled "race music," which included blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues. However, the music came from the same foundation and resulted in similar melodies. The only notable difference was the color of the musician's skin; this division portrays the deliberate commitment to keeping the white identity "untainted" by black culture.

Now, you may be thinking "Well, times are different now. What's stopping them from joining the industry now?"

But it's unfortunately not that simple because of barriers to entry specific to African American musicians. Of the 136 inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame, I counted less than 5 being people of color, an appalling 3.6%. It's overwhelming, uncomfortable even, for a person of color to join an industry where it's noticeable that they're the minority. Not to mention, it's daunting to perform for a predominantly white audience. People of color are set up to not feel welcome.

The lack of diversity in the country music industry outlines the U.S's underlying problem with race. As politicians scramble to address the frequent attacks on the African American community, the entertainment industry has become increasingly polarized. What we can do now is to open our eyes wider in order to acknowledge and address this issue.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

What Memorial Day Is

The importance of Memorial Day

1973
Haddon Heights Library

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Keep Reading... Show less
What College Girls Remember from their Summers as a Kid

Yes, summer is almost here.. so what should we remember

Keep Reading... Show less
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List
http://www.factandmyth.com/the-middle-class/are-mi...

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

10923
Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy
Disney

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments