Music is an important active purposeful creativity that brings joy and refreshment to human beings. Soul music is a widely known music genre that combines the elements of African American jazz, gospel music, blues and rhythm. The ‘Sisters of Soul’ music involves female various artists who address race, sexuality, class and gender differently in their performance, lyrics and musical issues. The artists represent feminine gender while including male issues in their music, address sexuality by discussing sexuality issues in the public, represents the Black Americans race and they promote equality among all economic classes. They illustrate SLU core values of integrity and the importance of relationships. Their artistic work is relevant in the American life in the recent decades where women voices are crucial.
Music is valuable in human existence since it is a source of joy, beauty and provides the freedom of expression that no other communication form can emulate. Various artists know and have the capacity to perform various plays, dances and songs among others. Music is classified in diverse kinds based on the function it serves in a culture as well as the timbres used. Soul music refers to a widely known music genre that combines rhythm, jazz, blues and gospel music’s elements. Its origin is in the United States in 1950s and 1960s. This music genre was influential during the civil rights era. The sister of soul involves various women who sang soul music such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Erykah Badu and Mary J Blidge among others. The purpose of this paper is to explore the soul music genre and how it relates to issues of race, class, gender and sexuality among other definers of identity.
Gender is a term used to refer to the classification of human traits and people as feminine, masculine or by the related terms. ‘Sisters of Soul’ arose from the experiences of the black people in America where the artists trans-mutated rhythm, gospel and blues to a form of secular, funky testifying. Artists such as Franklin played a great role in campaigning for gender equality through her participation in civil rights movements. She has been described as a person who symbolizes the equality of the blacks and a voice for the blacks. The sisters of soul music paved the way for most women to publicly express their opinions while both male and female black Americans got a better understanding of their rights and freedoms as American citizens. They have made the society to know that they should not discriminate women nut allow them to participate in the leadership positions. They have also enabled women to take part in decision making both at the family level and national level. Additionally, Mary Jane, the ‘Queen of hip-hop’, is a female soul artist whose music has inspired women across the globe in both triumph and struggle. These women are great music icons thus being emulated among the black Americans as well as across the globe as illustrators of women’s capacity to reach great heights of success in various life aspects.
Race refers to a group of people with attributes or some properties in common that are differentiated from other people in terms of type, kind or quality as stated by Daniels. The artists in the ‘sisters of soul’ are black Americans who sing songs to serve global purposes by creating political consciousness among people of all races and ages. The music reflects the identity of African American by giving substantial stress on the importance of their culture. They embrace the largeness of music and its capacity to impact the people’s feelings. They addressed the issue of racial discrimination and the agony it brings among the discriminated group. They have thus made leaders of the country to take the issue of racial discrimination seriously thus come up with laws that prohibit the vice. The soul songs explain that love is important in overcoming racial differences.
Daniels noted that class refers to the economic group that a person belongs to. The ‘Sisters of Soul’ artists address the issue of class by tackling urban poverty and the scattered poverty across the country. They address the social distinctions that exist in the South and the financial traps associated to artistic success. They have made various sociologists to come up with strategies of narrowing the class gap that exists in various societies. They emphasis on love among all citizens since it creates harmony among all people regardless of their differences. Artists like Mary Jane explain the importance of having a quick mind, being hardworking people and developing a generous heart to overcome class struggles. The sisters of soul artistic work played an important role in addressing economic differences among people through African American music, addressing the challenges of people living in a heartless and cold world and analyzing the American culture.
Sexuality can be defined as the actions, feelings and the attributes that involve erotic feelings, desires and behavior. The ‘Sisters of Soul’ artists addressed sexuality by being key drivers in the black women movement being publicly pronounced on radio. By taking control of their careers, these sisters used their music to empower women and men to work towards realizing their dreams despite daily struggles. They have enlightened women not to be sexual objects or use their bodies to get favor or money but to work hard for themselves and achieve their dreams. For example, Mary Jane addresses the struggles and pains experienced by women and the power and the strength found in the love for one another as well as love for self. She used her music to preach the gospel of pain and love, change and triumph being the voice of a new generation of the hip hop home girls. People desired to be like the classy soul sisters who were sexy. Sisters of soul enhanced sexual liberation by addressing sexuality openly in the larger political and social concerns.
Divergent viewpoints include that the ‘Sisters of Soul’ artists are not seasoned and their songs are not up to the standards of other prominent musicians since they are incomparable to white artists. While these artists are very active in their performance, the opposing view feels that they go against the law of nature where women should be passive in terms of sexuality and musical production. They are viewed as activists who seek to empower women to express their views publicly and boldly. They are despised as having gone beyond their historical activities in the domestic realm while supporting and obeying men.
The sisters of soul illustrates various SLU core values such as integrity that is demonstrated by Franklin since she consistently demonstrates great experience in music and skillful piano-playing. She is a great musician and singer with vocal flexibility, a listening spirit and interpretive intelligence. She has been praised for assisting other artists in their interpretation and arrangement of their hit songs; this attribute creates awareness on the importance of working together towards a common goal since better results are achieved and individuals are strengthened to actively participate in the activities they are capable of doing. She challenges all people to use their gifts and talents for the benefit of all, enhance their skills as well as empowering other people to be successful in the society.
On the other hand, Mary Jane illustrates the importance of human relationships. She challenge human beings to strengthen relationships in the society with an aim of restoring, promoting, enhancing and maintaining the well-being of communities, organizations, families, social groups and individuals. Although some relationships are painful, she explains that this is a universal feeling and people should keep on fighting to find the courage to sustain relationships.
In summary, women have more opportunities to participate in professional musical life presently as compared to the recent past, which is despite the fact that contemporary composers explore musical culture that offers the past misappropriate attention. Pursuing the popular culture is not as important as composing songs that add value to the society by addressing critical issues such as sexuality, gender, race and class among others.