Hold Up: Country Music Has Always Been Down With The Brown

As Beyoncé prepares to show up and show out at the Country Music Association Awards tonight, I've got a little history lesson for you. Despite claims to the contrary, Bey is just as entitled to the genre as the award show's overwhelmingly white pool of nominees.

Indeed: Country music — mostly associated with white fans and artists — has Black origins.

Khari Jackson, a cartoonist and archivist, schooled Bey's haters with a deep dive into the genre's roots. Instead of looking at country music as a white art form, we all ought to recognize its importance to the African diaspora.
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Notice that this is an argument in favor of reclaiming country music's Black legacy. It's not about invading the CMAs — because truly, who needs them?

See the subtle racism in critiques that Lemonade's "Daddy Lessons" doesn't actually qualify as country music. It doesn't matter where a song is recorded or the race of the singer: "Daddy Lessons" is about as country as it comes. And according to her collaborators, Bey is a musician who's familiar with country music's history.

So there you have it: Bey slays again.

The 50th Annual CMA Awards air tonight at 8 p.m. EDT.
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