THE BIRTH OF ROCK n’ ROLL - A CASE OF RACIAL CONFLICT
The term rock ‘n’ roll has been traced back as far as the 1920s in black music, but it became an accepted when disc jockey Alan Freed began used it to describe the character of the rhythm and blues he played on his radio program in the mid-‘50s. The term “Rockin' and Rollin” were originally used as slang for sex, in black pop music. However, it went on to become the name for a new, salacious musical genre. Innovation in audio technology, new instruments, fresh talent, business savvy record producers, and a young population of new consumers created by post-war economic prosperity helped turn "race music" into "rock and roll”. The roots of Rock & Roll can be traced back to rhythm and blues and country rock. We must note the political context of the rock n' roll movement before delving deeper into the recesses of the genre. Black people were beginning to identify and assert themselves racially supported by a series of Supreme Court judgments in favour of integration and the Black community in general Rock n' roll became a symbol of Black empowerment to the Whites, especially to the segregationists who were accustomed to and valued a separation of the races, but were now legally forced to operate against those segregationist values.
The resistance to rock n' roll music, highly enjoyed by young White kids, was a culmination of all the hostility and tension of the Civil Rights movement. There was a certain White resistance to such music in the form of The Ku Klux Klan and other White-supremacist organizations that openly preached the exaggerated consequences of listening to rock n' roll music. The term "jungle music" was used to describe the rock n' roll beat, declaring it would cause the White youth to lose their sense of humanity and dignity while mixing races. This kind of resistance to the rock n' roll movement often came to physical assaults on Black performers. There have been reports of assaults such as...
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