In 1926, a Harvard scholar by the name of Dr. Carter G. Woodson organized the first annual Negro History Week. The said event happened on the second week of February which also coincides with the birthdays of two great civil rights leaders - Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Today, the month of February is known as Black History Month. In honor of this celebration, here are several quotes by remarkable African-American musicians.
Image from the Library of Congress
"My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn."
Vince Bucci/Getty Images
"Rock's so good to me. Rock is my child and my grandfather."
Robert Mora/Getty Images
“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.”
Public Domain Image by Carl Van Vechten from Wikimedia Commons
"I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns."
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“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.”
Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
"It is never right to play ragtime fast."
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
“We all have idols. Play like anyone you care about but try to be yourself while you're doing so.”
Photo Courtesy of The American and British Studies Program at NBU
“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.”
Public Domain Image from The New Georgia Encyclopedia (Wikimedia Commons)
“They hear it come out, but they don't know how it got there. They don't understand that's life's way of talking. You don't sing to feel better. You sing 'cause that's a way of understanding life.”
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
"They wanted me to play the organ like Jesse Crawford. But why should I play like Crawford? I wanted to play like me."