Sun Ra Movement

Powerful Essays
Another artist who had a large influence in the black freedom movement and the third world struggles during the 1960’s and 70’s is Sun Ra. Sun Ra is a revolutionary jazz musician who began performing professionally as a kid. Once Sun Ra moved to Chicago in 1945, he immersed himself in jazz. Throughout his life, Sun Ra was influenced by space, religion and radical social movements and he expresses his beliefs and ideals through his music. Sun Ra’s love of astronomy and spiritual awakening opened doors for his music because he started fighting the constraints in jazz. The type of jazz he wanted to play was all about free expression, drum choirs, dancers, and sometimes even acrobats (Sun Ra Biography, 1). Sun Ra’s entire career argues persuasively…show more content…
Benjamin started her singing career singing at nightclubs, community dances and other social events. Powerful women figures like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald influenced her sound as a musician. Other very influential people in Benjamin’s life include Duke Ellington and Abdullah Ibrahim, her husband who she had a child with. Following the Sharpeville massacre, Benjamin and her husband Ibrahim lived in New York, raising both money and awareness for the anti-apartheid cause (Chinen, 1). Benjamin is in the history books as one of the greats alongside Billie Holiday because of the way she told stories using her voice and a microphone. “Benjamin can create emotional truth and innocence in part because she doesn’t rely on vocal acrobatics or melisma-- just pure, crystalline sound” (Kelley, 1). Benjamin maintained her own unique tone throughout her musical career but also never strayed away from her devotion to modern jazz, because she saw it as the most liberating music on the planet (Kelley, 123). Benjamin also very inclined with politics and was politically active on behalf of the African National Congress. Furthering her career, after moving back and forth from South Africa and New York City, she started her own record label, Ekapa, and released seven LPs showing her true talents. Sathima Bea Benjamin never lost touch of herself or her…show more content…
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Lock, Graham. Blutopia: Visions of the Future and Revisions of the Past in the Work of Sun Ra, Duke Ellington, and Anthony Braxton. Duke Univ. Press,
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