In honor of Women’s History Month this year, the African American Museum of Philadelphia (AAMP) is honoring the Black Queens of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The tribute will include stories about the Black women like Betty Davis, Ma Rainey, and more who’ve made significant, trail-blazing impacts on the genre.
“This is the kind of programming that we offer at AAMP, celebrating Women’s History Month. We celebrate Black history all year round, that is our mission. Black art, history, culture, and this narrative of reclaiming our narrative it’s something that we love bringing to our audiences,” Dejay Duckett, the museum’s Director of Curatorial Services told The Philadelphia Tribune.
As part of the celebration, the museum has reportedly partnered with the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania for a virtual event with Dr. Maureen Mahon, author of Black Diamond Queens: African American Woman and Rock and Roll.
The event will include a conversation with Dr. Mahon as well as a virtual tour of some of the most significant moments in rock ‘n’ roll music history.
“I’m so excited to have this talk and the best part of my job is being surrounded by Black excellence and genius and Maureen’s work is just that,” Duckett to the outlet.
The inspiration behind Dr. Mahon’s book comes from Black women’s undeniable pioneering within the genre of rock ‘n’ roll.
“I started this project because I have been a lifelong fan of music and from the time I was a teenager. I was especially interested in rock music and I realized that I really didn’t know that much about the African American women who have been involved in rock ‘n’ roll,” Dr. Mahon, who is also a cultural anthropologist in the Department of Music at New York University told the Tribune.
“As I got into the research, I started to wonder why aren’t their stories more prominently spotlighted in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. So, I also wanted to address that in my book,” she added.
The virtual is scheduled to take place on Thursday (March 25) and will include two of Dr. Mahon’s colleagues, Dr. Guthrie Ramsey and Dr. Deborah Thomas, both professors at the University of Pennsylvania. “All three of us have focused our research and publishing on African American diaspora culture and we’re all actively involved in doing that kind of research,” Dr. Mahon explained.
“I hope people will take some pleasure in learning the stories of artists and take away a kind of new perspective of thinking about rock ‘n’ roll and look at it as a genre where African American women have been involved and have been influential on other artists. I”m hoping that people will start to get a broader idea of African American women’s creativity and contribution to the arts,” Dr. Mahon said.
To learn more about the event or to register, click here.
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