ROCK ’N’ ROLL has been the soundtrack of youth rebellion for almost eight decades. It is one of the United States’ most powerful cultural exports to the world. It may seem cliché to say rock ’n’ roll is not just about music, but the moment it gripped a postwar generation of American teenagers, its anthems became words to live by—and future generations would never be the same.
Kids questioned the establishment and decided they did not need to follow parental rules and expectations. They stopped accepting the status quo, and their outside-the-box thinking contributed to accelerated technological advancement. Talented Latinx and Indigenous musicians who crossed cultural boundaries played a big role in the rise of rock ’n’ roll, and all that came with it.