Louis Armstrong – (What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue

My only sin
Is in my skin
What did I do
To be so black and blue?

From 1955, and written by Fats Waller, the blues as a musical idiom is appended to the color black, as in race. And thus a pleasant number subtly addresses racism. Right around this time we had the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which got the integration of schools started. Rosa Parks decided not to give up a bus seat, too. Still, murders of blacks continued in places like Mississippi, and  the civil rights movement had more work to do.


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