In partnership with NPR Music, watch this engaging conversation highlighting African American women who have played a pivotal part in rock and roll. Although African American women have influenced rock and roll from its beginnings, their presence in the genre has been diminished in favor of narratives of rock being dominated by white men. Journalist and co-creator of NPR Music's, Turning The Tables series, Ann Powers interviews Maureen Mahon, author of Black Diamond Queens, to discuss how African American women have laid the foundation for rock and roll — from chart-topping hits to onstage personas.
The interview also highlight recordings, albums, photographs, and other archival materials from the Museum’s collection that document African American women’s history in rock and roll from the 1950s to today. This collecting effort was led by Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, the museum's Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Music and Performing Arts. Learn more about the story of African American music from the arrival of the first Africans to the present day in our permanent exhibition, Musical Crossroads.