Screenshot courtesy of The 19th | Chapel Hart performs at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, in March 2024. (SETH HERALD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Beyoncé’s new album finally puts Black country-music fans front and center

This moment in music history, while high profile, is not surprising — particularly for Black fans who have been navigating this dynamic for years. Though country music as an art form developed from the sounds of Black musicians, the commercial country music industry was explicitly created to court rural, White listeners in the 1920s. More than 100 years later, its connection to Black audiences remains fractured. There are, however, plenty of Black people who live in rural communities, participate in rodeos and — yes —  listen to country music.

Read in The 19th


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