For artists, activists, and audiences of color, the efforts of this volunteer-run, non-profit organization prove evermore relevant in this era of renewed protest and unrest.
The Black Rock Coalition (BRC) was founded in 1985 to be a Pro-Active insurgency for all those who rocked while Black around the globe and were ready to Fight The Power. In the ensuing three decades, it has become a globally-recognized support network for Black musicians of all genres committed to non-compromise, defining their Art on their own terms and defying industry-imposed convention, stereotypes, and ghettofication.
Nascent membership included comrades-in-arms from the Bad Brains, Living Colour, Fishbone, 24-7 Spyz, LaBelle, Rage Against The Machine, and Parliament-Funkadelic camps. And the BRC’s network is still growing strong. The organization’s youngest band, indie metal phenoms Unlocking The Truth, has been a card-carrying member since 2011 (when they were 10-11 years old).
“My initial engagement with the BRC was like meeting family members I never knew I had…or The Avengers,” says Bevis Griffin, musician and Texas Music Museum inductee.
In recognition of the unique perspective gained by 30 years at the grassroot level, the Black Rock Coalition will host a panel titled “Deep Roots of Rock” at SXSW in Austin, TX on March 20, 2015 at the Austin Convention Center, Room 13AB at 3:30p. This discussion, led by BRC co-founder Greg Tate, will explore the white-washing of American music, the taming of the genre, and the ways in which rock’s darker, renegade past can help artists push boundaries and cut their own paths through today’s rocky musical landscape.