Since the history of music, there have been some personalities who, willingly or unwillingly, managed to change its flow.
One of them was Jimi Hendrix, who left an indelible mark, both in music and in African American culture in general.
Corey A. Washington’s book, “Jimi Hendrix Black Legacy: A Dream Deferred”, addresses just that.
Through interviews with people who knew him, he shows how his music influenced several categories including:
- rock and
- hip hop.
During his short stay in our world, Hendrix left behind a cultural heritage and more.
In the pages of Washington, we see how Hendrix gave a different meaning to a national symbol, such as the US flag, in a chaotic era.
A turbulent time, with the Vietnam War, and the violation of African Americans civil rights… something that unfortunately continues until today.
The charismatic musician, without being directly politicized, did not remain indifferent to the social struggles of his generation.
In October 1968 at the Winterland Theater in San Francisco, Hendrix performed a very special cover of the American national anthem “The Star-spangled Banner”.
The cover was seen as a musical protest against the Vietnam War, racism, and social exclusion.
Let’s not forget that 1968 was one of the most turbulent years in history:
- With the Cold War at its peak
- With political assassinations blooding America (Martin Luther King)
- International Conflicts and finally
- Creation of new anti-war and cultural currents.
“The black person argues with the white person, that he’s been treated badly for the last 200 years.
Well, he has, but now is the time to work it out, instead of talking about the past.
We know the past is all screwed up, so instead of talking about it, let’s get things together now,” Hendrix said.
More relevant than ever, especially at a time when racism is once again leaving blood on the streets…