In the discussion of music, numerous names are tossed around. Sure, there are many recording artists who are worthy of some level of research. But then there are those names that are worthy of intense MusicStudy. These are the Marquee Names…
Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life is one of the most important albums in the canon of American popular music. Featuring songs like, “Isn’t She Lovely,” “As,” and “I Wish,” his album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart in 1976. In doing so, it became only the third album to achieve such a feat and the first by an American artist. But when I look back at Song in the Key of Life, the song that stands out the most to me (and holds the deepest meaning for me) is “Black Man.”
Aside the beauty of “Black Man”, and I’m speaking both of the music and Stevie Wonder’s vocals here, “Black Man” is an educational tune about American history. Following the inception of the United States, the creation of the American Flag, and the Civil War, Stevie Wonder takes it a step further by discussing the color of the men who played crucial parts in American history. But what “Black Man” says to me is a reminder of the injustices in America and the erasure of accomplishments by minority groups. “Black Man” also explains that America and the rest of the World was made for everybody to live under a truly equal society.
The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.
Stevie Wonder – “Black Man”