Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

African Americans in Appalachia

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Happy Mose

"Happy Mose", 1911. (Library of Congress.)

The lives of African American and white Appalachians were intertwined socially and culturally. The most obvious representation of this relationship is the banjo, a central instrument in traditional mountain music that originated in Africa. While the banjo is not often heard in contemporary music, the African American banjo tradition has been kept alive in the modern era by Appalachian artists such as Rhiannon Giddens and her band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

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