Isolation, and why representation truly matters.

A black and white picture of a single, unoccupied chair.

Isolated by Sarah Encabo via FreeImages.com

Isolation is dangerous, and it seems to take many forms. A lack of support from your family, a lack of people around you who understand you and share your interests, even a lack of representation of people like you in the media. It is easy to truly start believing that you do not belong anywhere when you’re isolated, even doubting that you should be alive, and that’s where the danger lies.

Black Women In Rock was a project that sprang up from my own experiences with isolation. When I first got into rock music, a lot of people had opinions about it, and those opinions tended to be negative. I was told that I was not really Black because I liked the music and that it, along with how I talked and even some of the ideas I had about religion and the world, was all about me trying to “act White”.

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Memphis Minnie – Biography by Barry Lee Pearson

“Tracking down the ultimate woman blues guitar hero is problematic because woman blues singers seldom recorded as guitar players and woman guitar players (such as Rosetta Tharpe and Sister O.M. Terrell) were seldom recorded playing blues. Excluding contemporary artists, the most notable exception to this pattern was Memphis Minnie. The most popular and prolific blueswoman outside the vaudeville tradition, she earned the respect of critics, the support of record-buying fans, and the unqualified praise of the blues artists she worked with throughout her long career. Despite her Southern roots and popularity, she was as much a Chicago blues artist as anyone in her day. Big Bill Broonzy recalls her beating both him and Tampa Red in a guitar contest and claims she was the best woman guitarist he had ever heard.”

Read more at Memphis Minnie | Biography & History | AllMusic