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date: 03 August 2020

Black Rock Coalition [BRC]locked

  • Maureen Mahon

Extract

[BRC]

American arts organization founded in New York in October 1985 and in Los Angeles in 1989. It was formed by African American musicians, artists, and music industry professionals based in New York in response to the race-based assumptions about music-making that dominated the 1980s. The BRC addresses the racial segregation of music in the recording industry and provides an outlet for African American rock musicians to develop and promote their craft. Its co-founders were the guitarist Vernon Reid, the writer Greg Tate, and the artist manager Konda Mason. A non-profit organization run by volunteers, it stages concerts, sponsors panel discussions, produces recordings, and hosts a radio show in order to draw attention to the breadth of musical sounds and styles engaged by African American musicians.

The BRC argues against the recording industry’s practice of limiting African American musicians to rhythm-and-blues and dance music. A primary reason for the formation of the BRC was to support Reid’s efforts to win a recording contract for his hard-rock band Living Colour. To address the common view held by black and white recording industry executives and music fans that black people were not interested in rock and that rock was white music, BRC members invoked a historical argument that recalled the African American roots of rock and roll. Articulating their position in the ...

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