Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom Research Presentation: It’s Black History Month!

It's Black History Month! Time to learn about all of the amazing contributions that black people have made to classical music. Pay close attention because we had to talk really, really fast to fit this many people into a short. PS, You can check out our timeline of black classical music contributors in the "Raise Your Hand" section of our webpage.

Audio production by Todd "Troubled Island" Hulslander with barely audible suggestions from Dacia Clay.

Thanks to MusicLab intern Princeton Miles for lending his dulcet tones to this episode. Thanks also to St. John Flynn and Daniel Webbon for their contributions to our timeline, and to Daniel for his music research minioning.

Music in this episode includes:

– Ludwig van Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 9 (Kreutzer Sonata)

– Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast

William Grant Still, Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American"

– George T Walker, Jr., Lilacs for voice and orchestra

– Wynton Marsalis, from Blood on the Fields


Resources we used for this presentation:

Abdul, R. (1976, Jun 26). Blacks and classical music. New York Amsterdam News (1962-1993). Retrieved from

Chronology of african american contributions to classical music. (2008, Mar). Michigan Citizen. Retrieved from

Clark, A. (2007, Jan). CLASSICAL MUSIC. Colorlines, 10, 47-50,4. Retrieved from



Dacia Clay

Dacia Clay

Host/Producer, Classical Classroom; Web Editor, Arts & Culture

Dacia began her career in public radio as the Audio Librarian for Houston Public Media (then KUHF) in 2009. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas' School of Library and Information Science, where she focused on special collections (thanks to the sage advice...

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