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African American Legacy Recording Series

In 2007, NMAAHC and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings began a multi-year collaboration to explore African American oral and musical traditions. The African American Legacy Series will include reissues and compilations drawn from the Folkways catalog, plus previously unreleased archival materials and new recordings of contemporary artists.

The African American Legacy Series will include blues, jazz, gospel, folk traditions, spoken word, hip hop, and more. The goal is to reach new audiences with historic recordings and capture contemporary traditions for future generations. Purchases of these recordings support the artists that created them and help fund future series.

  • Songs My Mother Taught Me: Fannie Lou Hamer
    Songs My Mother Taught Me
    Fannie Lou Hamer

    a re-release of limited-edition 1963 field recordings, breathes new life into Fannie Lou Hamer’s inspiring legacy and her uncompromising call for a righteous world. [Learn More]

  • New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City
    New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City

    For more than a century, the signature sound of New Orleans has been the brass band — at once a source of celebration... [Learn More]

  • A Life of Song Ella Jenkins
    A Life of Song
    Ella Jenkins

    SFW45067 (2011) In A Life of Song, Ella Jenkins, “The First Lady of Children’s Music,” offers stories and songs that speak to her youthful years... [Learn More]

  • Rappahannock Blues by John Jackson
    Rappahannock Blues
    John Jackson

    Rappahannock Blues John Jackson SFW40181 (2010) Raised in a large, musical farm family in Rappahannock County, Virginia, John Jackson (1924-2002) was the most important... [Learn More]