Darius Rucker Pens Emotional Essay About Country Music’s ‘Stigma Of Rebel Flags And Racism’: It’s ‘Changing Drastically’

In a new editorial for Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, Darius Rucker is opening up about the changing world of country music.

For the piece, which is the latest in the Tennessean‘s Hallowed Sound series highlighting Black legacies in American music, the country crooner, 55, detailed what he’s seen of “reparational equity” for Black artists in the genre.

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“When you have people that talented, it’s important to get them represented. And the more that happens, the bigger our audience is going to get because there’s going to be more people of colour looking at country music in a different way and saying, ‘You know, I do like that,'” the “Beers And Sunshine” singer said. “And I guarantee you, if you give it a shot, you’ll find something you like.”

On Black people’s connection to the country roots, Rucker says it goes back generations.

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“We took elements of all those different musical genres and made it country,” he said. “The banjo originated in Africa. It came over with slaves, and now it’s one of the biggest instruments in country music. Hank Williams Sr. listened to all of those blues players. I think African Americans have had a profound effect on country music.”

He added, “Country music has this stigma of rebel flags and racism, and that’s changing. I think it’s changing drastically. And I’m just glad. I hope I’m remembered as one of the people that tried to fight that, and one of the reasons that changed.”

Read Rucker’s full article at tennessean.com.

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