For our first blog post during Black History Month, we wanted to take a look at a time in American history when the simple act of attending a classical music concert was prohibited for people of color. Renowned African-American opera baritone Robert Honeysucker, who unexpectedly died in 2017, was a student at Tougaloo College in 1963 when he decided to attend a whites-only concert in Jackson, Mississippi. His actions and the many other brave protests of the Civil Rights Movement helped to shed light on the issue of racial prejudice, but how far has classical music really come today?
Part of Classical Music Indy’s ongoing work is to highlight diversity in the classical music world, and explore the unique voices and perspectives of multicultural musicians and audiences. In recognition of Black History Month, Classical Music Indy honors two of the Black musicians who made history by gracing concert stages and bringing unique cultural experiences to the music they performed.