Thursday, October 8, 2009

Black People Don't Listen to Country Music

Well that's not true actually. I am a black person and I love country music. Both of my parents are black people and they also listen to country. It is not all that I listen too but it is a good part of it. I have met black people who only listen to country and I would imagine that they have dealt with more scrutiny than I have.

Growing up in the south it seemed like everyone listened to a little country even if they didn't want to admit it. I was rarely the only black person at concerts or dance clubs. I always got a few looks but nothing nasty. People were actually generally nice to me and invited me and my friends to hang out with them. I was always asked to dance and I rarely felt excluded. It wasn't until I moved north of the Mason-Dixon that I started to feel like I was being judged and stared at for being the black person at the country shows.

I don't have any friends in New York who listen to country music so I no longer go line dancing or to many country concerts. My husband, who is white and doesn't listen to country music, went to see Rascal Flatts with me earlier this year because they are one of my favorite bands and I hadn't been to a country music show since college. I felt like I was the show. I could feel people staring at me for a lot longer than was polite. People weren't talking to me. I usually meet one or two new friends at concerts and we danced and sang songs together throughout the night. But any small talk that I initiated with my neighbors was met with silence and a cold stare. But to my credit, I danced and sang along to all the songs and had my own little party. It was a good time, not as good a time as it would have been with my friends in Virginia, but it was fun.

All black people listen to rap music. This isn't true. Have you seen MTV lately? A lot of rap videos and a lot of white viewers. Most of the cars that speed through my upper middle class neighborhood with their base booming and rap music blaring are white teenagers. Do you really think Jay Z, Snoop Dogg and other rap mega-superstars are famous by only having one minority group of the population listening to their music? My husband listens to a lot more rap and r & b music than I do which suprises people because apparently you only listen to music that is made by people who look exactly like you. That's like saying Obama is president because every black person in the country who voted, voted for him. Which is impossible; that would have left him with about 30% of the vote, certainly not enough to become president.

Korn. Rob Zombie. Garth Brooks. Alan Jackson. Indigo Girls. Tori Amos. John Mayer. Luther Vandross. A Tribe Called Quest. All concerts that I have been to and loved. My musical tastes span across several genres. So I would encourage the ignorant people to open your closed minds and get past your stereotypes. You might realize that you have more in common than you think with people that look different from you. And if you get out of your box and extend a little kindness you might make a new friend and teach some of the other ignorant people a lesson.


  1. I dated a black girl (I'm white), who loved the same music as me, zeppelin-beatles-hendrix, and let me tell you...the fact that I knew how hard it was for her to be black and not be into rap music so she could fit the mold just made her so much hotter.

  2. I can understand where you are coming from. We went to a club that is VERY popular with the younger crowd. There were a few older people there but most had been rode hard and put up... well anyway I was like the only female over 30 that actually wasn't after someone to go home with, this is out of like 250 people. Was weird, they acted like we were from a different planet, the guy we actually went with was like 34.
    It's OK if you listen to country. Did I ever tell you I had a mixed grandson that people thought was mine because I'm so dark?