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Racial Equity and Social Justice

Materials selected by IU librarians and members of our community

From the Archives of African American Music and Culture

From the Archives of Traditional Music

From Media Studies

These playlists, hosted via Spotify, were created to commemorate and celebrate a number of events and communities throughout the last year. They include historical and contemporary music across genres. 

In Fall 2020, we created a series of playlists aligned with the IU Themester theme of "Democracy," including this one featuring women of color. From the original description: "Too often in grand narratives (and playlists), many voices are left out. In this playlist, we've centered the voices of women of color across time and genre as they endeavor to speak out against and articulate the injustices and shortcomings of American democracy across history. In this music is both a ferocious condemnation of the various, interlocking systems of oppression that circumscribe the lives of so many and hope for a future defined by equality and justice. Explore how women of color have crafted political anthems that challenge American democracy to be accountable and inclusive."

If you'd like to listen to the other playlists in this series, check out the Media Studies Research Guide

This playlist was created in recognition of November's month-long celebration of indigenous history and culture, and comprises Indigenous artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. These artists span a spectrum of genres, including hip hop, metal, country, and experimental. Listen and explore a sampling of the vast contributions to modern American music by Indigenous peoples.

This list only serves as a diving point into the vast contributions to American and international popular music made by Indigenous artists. If you'd like to learn more about these artists, check out the original feature on our Media Studies Research Guide. There you will find a comprehensive discussion of the context and history of the music we've highlighted, as well as a selection of resources for further reading on Indigenous music.

In recognition and celebration of Black History month in February, we created a series of curated playlists designed to celebrate the voices, innovations, and influence of black artists and musicians across music history. Beginning with this general playlist, we highlighted the voices and artistry of influential figures in genres that conventionally are recognized in historical context as being created and driven by black voice and contribution: including jazz, soul, r&b, and hip hop.

In addition to this more general playlist, we also created three other playlists that offer deep dives into genres where black voices and influence are often obscured or overlooked: including rock music, celebrating black pioneers in punk, metal, and other rock music movements; folk and country, where black influence to the evolution of folk and country music into popular culture is celebrated; and electronic, where we highlight key black contributors to the evolution of electronic music in all its many sub-genres.

Provided in tandem with these playlists are library and freely available resources to aid in the further exploration and celebration of black contributions to contemporary popular music and culture. Head over to the Media Studies Research Guide to enjoy these other playlists and access further readings.

Featured albums selected by our community