A Brief History of African American Marching Bands

An overview of marching bands made up of African Americans from the 18th to the 20th century:

As early as 1738, free mulatos, blacks, and Native Americans residing in Virginia were required to serve in the military. They were not however permitted to carry firearms. From these early days, the musical traditions of African American musical groups began to develop and has continued to do so. The link below is to a Folkstreams article on the history of these musical organizations from the early days of America to the 1960s. (The article below is excerpted from Lewis, William Dukes. Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum: Performance Traditions of Historically Black College and University Marching Bands. Thesis (M.A., Folklore) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003. Used with permission from the author. Thesis is available at UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries)

To read the complete article, please follow the link below…


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