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Panel Takes On Black Equity In Americana

The dramatic events of 2020 have foregrounded issues of race and music, and this week the conversation goes public. Several organizations have collaborated to produce Black Equity In Americana, a public online panel this Thursday at 3 pm central, featuring what organizers are calling “an honest, restorative dialogue featuring a group of Americana music’s top Black artists and creative professionals.”

That panel is comprised of “gothic blues” artist Adia Victoria, Muddy Roots festival founder Jason Galaz, singer/songwriter Kamara Thomas, artist and record label executive Lilli Lewis and musician/activist Rev. Sekou. The moderator will be music journalist Marcus K. Dowling. 

The panel “is aimed at advocating for a more significant presence for Black artists and industry leaders as stakeholders more broadly represented in Americana’s present and future,” says the panel’s announcement. While the various constituencies in Americana music acknowledge the Black roots of the format and its varied music, “minimal representation of Black artists has been a constant. Given that gospel, blues, and soul are intrinsic to Americana as a musical genre, this has too long been a problematic issue and must be remedied.”

WMOT will offer a report on the conversation. A follow-up panel has been set for the Americana Music Association’s upcoming Thriving Roots Conference, which takes place September 16-18.


Craig Havighurst is WMOT's editorial director and host of The String, a weekly interview show airing Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. He also co-hosts The Old Fashioned on Saturdays at 9 am and Tuesdays at 8 pm. Threads and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org
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