Music for the Soul

June 19th, 2021

What a great opportunity it was to be in a space where so much healing for the soul took place. We had the pleasure of visiting the Stax Museum, the very site where the Stax recording studio and label resided. Soul music is such a powerful aspect of black culture, but also is representative of how music unifies. Stax represented an escape, a refuge, where art and joy could coincide interracially, for all to enjoy. Jim Stewart, the co-founder of Stax stated it perfectly what Stax represented for music, culture, and those who had the opportunity to be a part of it, “…We were sitting in the middle of a highly segregated, a highly hypocritical city, and we were in another world when we walked into that studio”. It was evident, that Stax, the music, genres, and artists that it created, not only impacted the artists involved, but for generations of individuals, of all races, to enjoy, love, and learn creativity and joy from an audience different from them. The culture that Stax curated, continues to live on today, and that was visible while even walking through Beale St, and hearing the bands and singers, singing blues and soul music, and watching everyone just enjoy. Soul Train, which developed from the Stax and soul era, was a rare time where the representation of my people was other than being seen as subhuman, or stereotyped. Soul Train, broadcasted and watched by a large white audience, showed the nation something that they rarely saw, or chose to see in black people. Soul Train showed the character, dignity, joy, and integrity of black Americans, and possibly, possibly, gave them a glimpse of who we truly are. The artists of Stax, and the genre of soul, gospel and blues, created a refuge for the spirit, allowing the woes and difficulties of life, segregation, oppression, hatred, to be forgotten, and what a beautiful thing that must have been for my people.

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