Christine’s research in music history – particularly the history of the blues – began years ago, following a week-long conference held at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, coordinated by JSJBF founding member Bob Santelli. This “best conference ever” inspired her to create the Rutgers course “Race, Roots & Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Rock music, she tells her students, is firmly rooted in blues music. And to gain a better understanding of the origins and evolution of blues music, she reminds us, we need to consider the social, political and racial hierarchies of the deep South in the early-to-mid-20th century. Influenced by western African musical traditions, and emerging in the form of field hollers, work songs and spirituals, the music that was sung and played by African Americans gave rise to a rich and enduring cultural art form: the blues.
Check out her podcast “Remembering Emmett Till.”