November 13-14, 2009

On November 13th and 14th, the Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) hosted a two-day conference on Black rock on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus.The conference and related activities were open to local and regional musicians, scholars, students, and the general public for a nominal fee.

Reclaiming the Right to Rock: Black Experiences in Rock Music brought together Black rock musicians from different generations and regions with music critics and scholars to discuss the socio-political history, musical developments, and the future of Black rock. The main component of the conference was three panels, each exploring one of the following topics:

  1. The conceptualization and origins of Black rock;
  2. The politics of Black rock;
  3. The face of Black rock in the 21st century.

The core panelists were those artists considered to be innovators and practitioners of Black rock in the United States, including representatives from the East and West coasts such as Linda Tillery, Ike Willis, Tamar-kali, and Netic. The conference also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Black Rock Coalition, which was founded to create "a united atmosphere conducive to the maximum development, exposure, [and] acceptance of Black alternative music."

In conjunction with the conference, the AAAMC also collaborated with a number of units and organizations at Indiana University to arrange a series of film screenings, concerts, and workshops, which were hosted on the Bloomington campus during the conference weekend and throughout the Fall 2009 semester.

The remainder of this website has been left in it's original format with the exception of the online and print registration forms, which have been removed to prevent accidental registrations. If you would like additional information on the conference, contact us at The conference will also be covered in the 2010 issue of Liner Notes, the AAAMC's annual newsletter.

LATEST UPDATES (Nov. 12, 2009)

- The registration desk will be located inside the southeast entrance of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, just across the street from the Jordan Parking Garage. The desk will be open from 2:00-5:00 PM on Friday Nov. 13th and 9:00 AM-2:30 PM on Saturday Nov. 14th. Whether you have registered in advance or plan to register on site, please stop by the desk to pick up your name badge and conference packet!

- A professional film crew will be on site to document this historic event. If at all possible, please plan to arrive early and to be in your seat 5-10 minutes before the start of each conference session to limit disruptions during filming.

- A number of our panelists and the Black Rock Coalition will have items available for purchase during the conference weekend. Although you can only register onsite with check or credit card, be sure to have cash on hand for purchasing these items and your ticket to the Union Board concert on Saturday night (the concert is free to IU students with valid id and $15 at the door for everyone else - see details on Events Page).