Black Women Who Rock

BlogHer Original Post

In "Anti Diva" Popmatters writer Christian John Wikane asserts something that I have attempted to explain to several people over the years about why I am interested in black female rock singers:

The black female rock singer is invisible. By rock, I don’t mean popular music, as the two terms are often injudiciously interchanged, but the loud, guitar and drum-driven energy of the actual genre. Though black music—rhythm and blues—is essentially the DNA of rock music, social and industry barriers confront black female artists who embody the aural and visual aesthetics of the rock idiom.

The presence of a black female in a rock band signifies being in a space where one can truly be themselves. Being in a rock band is a fantasy for many people, as it serves as a vechicle for freedom. The audience demands that you give them every shred of yourself, warts and all. It also adds to the live performance as the message isn't just in the music but also within the delivery.

Instead of the hyper-sexualized images in Hip-Hop videos, black female rockers while not hiding their sexuality, add a sense of power to their presence, eschewing the notions that they don't belong while providing and flaunting their uniqueness - and most importantly, being who they want to be.

There are a number of young musicians rising slowly making headway into mainstream success - whether that was their aim or not. Thanks to more young people of colour are getting interested in alternative genres of music. Here are some artists to check out:

Santi White and her band Stiffed, Tamar Kali, Graph Nobel, Honeychild Coleman from Audio Dyslexia and Carol Thomas.

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