Harper’s Weekly‘s December 21, 1861 edition features (among many other images) this stunning centerfold of Winslow Homer’s “A Bivouac Fire on the Potomac”: Homer depicts an encounter between diverse American cultures — celtic, North African, West African, Afro-Caribbean — centered on the evening’s entertainments of dance, fiddle, and other camp pastimes.
Black Folk Music to the Civil War
“They found a secret door to take them into that world where the tears are wiped away…”
Here are some videos on banjo history, noting especially the early banjo’s roots in Africa and the Caribbean: Akonting Roundtable Segment One: The History and Music of the Akonting
“This consists of music by and relating to African Americans, from the 1820s to the present day, and consists of approximately 6,000 items. …”