Using a selection of Black composers from Joseph de Boulogne to William Grant Still to Terence Blanchard, Diane McCullough, Opera Theatre of St. Louis docent, will discuss the work and agency taken by these composers in the face of barriers of racist Jim Crow laws and prejudice. The presentation will explore the musical forces that place these composers squarely at the heart of the development of an “American” sound in many genres of American music – folk, pop, jazz, classical.