Remson DeJoseph

Document Type



Remson DeJoseph's paper My Soul has Sung Deep Like the Rivers: How the Abolishment of Slavery Birthed Generations of Music was awarded second place in the 2015 Open Books - Open Minds Writing Award.


The world of music is vast; there are songs that tell thrilling stories of love or loss, and stories of the ways in which love affects people. The history of such songs is just as immense. Many people may want to know the hidden meaning in Elvis’ “Hound Dog,” but not many think of asking where the rock genre came from. People would love to know how Frank Sinatra came to dominate the jazz industry, yet they rarely think of asking where jazz originated. There are many genres that originated from one background, some include folk and country, and the three genres I will be focusing on are blues, jazz, and rock. One can say blues and rock are somewhat similar in the sense that rock came from the blues genre – yet, jazz is a totally different genre of music! The rhythms, the instruments, they differ across genres; one can wonder how can blue’s, rock, and jazz come from the same origin? When thought about a little more, these differences emerging from the same origins make sense. These three genres come from the oppression brought on by slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. I believe today’s genre of blues, jazz, and rock and roll are the results of the abolishment of slavery.


Second Place