Yesterday, after working out at the gym, I played African music on my smartphone as I exited the building. A middle-aged White lady who was unknowingly behind me heard the music and said, “That’s nice music, happy music.” I had never characterized African music as happy music, though I agree that it evokes happiness.
I mentioned that the lady was White to contrast that many African Americans, and other races, are not familiar with the beauty of African music, especially West African music.
Many Latinos are unaware that Salsa music originated in Africa. Salsa is a set of Afro-Caribbean rhythms fused with jazz and other styles. The truth is that its origins have always been much debated, although as a general rule it is mentioned that it comes from a fusion that came from Africa in the Caribbean when they heard European music and wanted to mix it with their drums.
I have recently found more White people in tune with African music than my own people, in restaurants, in grocery stores, outdoor events, etc. Just last week I met a White young man who was very familiar with West African music from having worked in Africa, while in the Peace Corps.