This Black History Month, we take a look at two dynamic musicians of African descent and a modern organization that is spearheading a more diverse future. Read below about the French composer who led the best orchestra in Paris, the American opera star who stunned audiences with her voice, and an organization that is creating positive change on a national scale.
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?
Continuing our look at education and the importance of diversity and the arts, we spoke with Bob Guffin who was responsible for taking H.L. Harshman Magnet Middle School from a failing school to a model program for student achievement. He shares with us the key tenants to culturally inclusive learning environments and why it matters.