My Sister’s Keeper: Celebrating the Black Women of Funk
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In a genre marked by minimalism and masculinity, the inclusion of the singing diva created a highlight in funk. This presentation will explore the use of melody and women’s voices in the evolution of this genre and will examine the contributions of divas of funk, including Lyn Collins, Betty Davis, Chaka Kahn, Aretha Franklin, and others, spanning from the birth of funk to the present day. If the soundtrack to the civil rights movement was made of gospel and soul, the soundtrack to the Black Power movement was made of funk. This progeny of soul music differed in its use of heaping amounts of both syncopation and Black pride. While an initial survey of funk would conclude that it is a male dominant genre, closer inspection proves that the clarion voice of the Black diva was a present and driving force in this music. As funk evolves from a civil rights orientation to becoming more mainstream, the Black diva is an integral part of innovations. The acoustic militancy of '60s funk gave way to the electronic grooves of '70s funk, and the singing diva remained ever present.
African American Studies | Music | Musicology
Daniel-Cox, Minnita and Gates, Larry, "My Sister’s Keeper: Celebrating the Black Women of Funk" (2021). Content Presented at the First and Second Dayton Funk Symposia. 23.