There are many black musicians who made their mark in American history. The music of these talented composers and performers transcended cultural borders and inspired many to follow in their footsteps, and this list is by no means comprehensive but only a small sample of their immense contribution.
Some of these musicians overcame obstacles throughout their careers to raise awareness of black music. Others used their skills to fight social injustice and make a positive impact on society. Although they came from different backgrounds and musical styles, each of the artists below contributed to the music we know and love today.