Chuck Berry’s career and the history of Motown Records

How do Chuck Berry’s career and the history of Motown Records illustrate the influence of Booker T. Washington’s doctrines of racial self-help on efforts to expand African American economic, cultural, and political power during the 1950s and 1960s?

Chuck Berry’s career and the history of Motown Records

How do Chuck Berry’s career and the history of Motown Records illustrate the influence of Booker T. Washington’s doctrines of racial self-help on efforts to expand African American economic, cultural, and political power during the 1950s and 1960s?

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How Berry Gordy Revolutionized Rhythm & Blues

From 1954 through to the emergence of soul as the major black popular music in the mid-1960s, rhythm & blues not only registered the hardships and frustrations of urban African American life and its core views and values, but it also expressed African America’s most cherished post-war achievements and ongoing aspirations. Black popular culture, as with the more mainstream aspects of U.S. popular culture that African Americans embrace, serves a socio-political function when and where it offers an arena where African Americans can create and critique alternative views and values, as well as an arena where they can explore and express traditional African American views and values.

In this sense, classic rhythm & blues reflected and increasingly articulated an idealized vision of not only loving and ultra-romantic African American relationships but also a united and harmonious African America which, truth be told, was more a figment of classic rhythm & blues singer-songwriters’ imaginations than a reality in the 1950s and 1960s.

However, the classic rhythm & blues singer-songwriters were not alone in imagining a united and harmonious African America, they were merely translating and transmitting, indeed transfiguring, the post-war optimism, spirit of determination, and political pulse of the people then running rampant throughout African America into black popular music.