01 March 2012

"Black" Music

Though I haven't decided against including African art in our home, I feel it more important to include African-American art. Our family is a musical family. We listen to music all the time and have "dance parties" with the kids. My husband's big hobby and talent is musical theater. He directs the church choir. I've loved music for as long as I can remember. Our children seem to have a love for music too.

I've been wanting to include African-American music in our family's music for a while. However, the African-American, or black, music I grew up hearing is not something I want my kids exposed to. Neither is the popular black music of today. One day I had an epiphany. It seemed so simple an answer I don't know why I haven't thought of it before.

My Caucasian/white son loves Jackson Five's "Rockin' Robin". We use Pandora on our TV, internet, and phones. So one day I created a Jackson Five station. Best thing ever! We hear all the catchy mo-town songs that are awesome to dance to. Sure there's the occasional slow love song that's a bit too grown-up for the kids (no bad language, just too much about love-makin' kind of stuff), but all you gotta do on Pandora is thumbs-down it and you'll never hear it again.

{Quick paragraph about Pandora. you can find it at pandora.com. It's free and user friendly. You can create any kind of "station" you'd like and name it what you want. You can add songs to the station to help the website identify what type of music you'd like to hear on that station. (We also have a kid's songs station.) Then it does the rest! Based on what you've entered it chooses other songs it thinks you'd like and plays them like a radio station. If for some reason you don't like a particular song you can thumbs-down it and you won't hear it again. Easy-cheesy and pretty awesome.}

We hear Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Emotions, The Temptations, and many, many more great artists. I didn't realize how much I LOVE this music and knew all the words until I heard it all again. You may be surprised as well.

What about you and your family? Any favorite music artists you listen to to include your African-American child's culture and heritage in your family?

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