Rhythm and Revolution


Image by sycline from Pixabay. The Pinnacle reached out to event organizers for permission to use their advertisement images, but received no response.

Casey Cheatum, Reporter

In order to adequately commemorate Black History Month, it’s important to look into every fabric of black history, and for Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, an annual concert is their way of honoring this month. Each year, hundreds of teens from around the Memphis area come together to create this concert, and to celebrate the evolution of black music. 

COVID-19 couldn’t slow down this talented group, as they brought the concert virtually this year, and they couldn’t be happier to be able to reach a wider audience with their concert this year. Student Audio Producer, Ashmita Nauhria, stated, “All the kids can enjoy it, and our music can bring kids happiness, joy, and a break from their daily lives.” 

The 40-minute-long show, titled “Rhythm and Revolution: Expressions of Struggle, Collaboration, and Peace”, uses music from legendary black musicians to tell the story of the revolution of African-Americans, and their rise from segregation in the United States, as well as provide some valuable life lessons we can all live by. The concert includes songs from Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, and more. In between songs, the concert provided the audience with historic landmarks of black music. Some of these landmarks include Royal Studios, Soulsville USA, The “I am a Man” Plaza, and many other landmarks, mainly in the Midwest. 

However, the concert isn’t just all about the music, as the concert serves as a reminder to all that the United States has come so far in this revolution of equality, and that the road to equality is far from over. Nauhria states, “I know that there’s a lot that goes on, and I wish there was just equality amongst all genders, and all races.” STAX Tenor Saxophonist Caleb Thompson states, “People should resolve conflicts and be better people towards each other, and themselves.” 

Music is one of the most influential pieces of black history, and everything from the production, choreography, and singing made for a powerful 40-minute concert. The audience could tell how passionate STAX Music Academy is about Black History Month, and this performance was a great representation of the power behind the movement.