'Black Equity' Panel to Discuss Representation in Americana Music

A group of black musicians and music industry professionals are set to have a public discussion about race in the world of Americana music. The panel, titled “Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation,” will take place over Zoom on Thursday, August 20th, at 4 p.m. ET.

Participating in the conversation will be the Nashville blues singer Adia Victoria, Muddy Roots Festival organizer Jason Galaz, singer-songwriter Kamara Thomas, artist and Louisiana Red Hot Records general manager Lilli Lewis, and musician-theologian-activist Rev. Sekou. Music journalist Marcus K. Dowling will moderate the panel, which is “aimed at advocating for a more significant presence for Black artists and industry leaders as stakeholders” in Americana, according to a press release.

Like its mainstream relative in country music, Americana has long synthesized many types of black music, from gospel to soul to the blues. And while those forms were being celebrated, representation by black artists in Americana has been relatively low. Panelists will discuss some methods for bringing about systemic change and making it sustainable.

The conversation will stream live next Thursday on the Americana Music Association’s Facebook, and a follow-up panel on Black Equity has been scheduled for the virtual Thriving Roots conference taking place September 16th through 18th.

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