Five-String Fretless Banjo

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 1/27/2009

Although some know of the banjo's use by African Americans, the popular consciousness of the banjo has been dominated by images of white Southern musicians and urban folk singers. But the story is more complex. The banjo migrated from Africa to America in the hands and memories of slaves. Through the popularity and commercialization of minstrelsy in the nineteenth century, white musicians adopted the instruments and it was transformed into a popular mass-produced and mass-marketed product of the manufacturing and entertainment industries.