Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1

Africana Studies


Jimi Hendrix is a household name for any fan of 60s rock music. His unique, effects-driven approach to music simultaneously revolutionized the genres of Rock and Blues. From his use of amplifier feedback, Wah Pedal, and hammer-on fingering in solos to his lyrics an outlet with which he processed his childhood, his music musicianship helped define a decade of music. He found success in England as a Black creator while African Americans continued their fight for Civil Rights back in America. England’s acceptance of Blacks and love of American Blues allowed him to hone his craft in London before leaving his mark on the American music scene. As a member of the 27 Club Hendrix was lost too soon, though the legacy of his music left an immediate impression. His unique style inspired the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn who replicated his style of music. Hendrix’s musical legacy has never been in doubt, widely regarded as one of the best guitarists of all time, and ranked number one on Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Guitarists of All-Time lists (Rolling Stone, 2019). Many musicians look to replicate his style and sound leading to the creation of signature model guitars and effects pedals from the likes of Fender, Gibson, and Vox. However, the image of Jimi Hendrix the person has suffered after his death. More and more his image is related to the pot-head rocker stereotype. His face often finds itself on the fronts of t-shirts featuring marijuana, some even mistakenly identifying him as Bob Marley. These images do not capture the depth of person Hendrix was, so the question must be answered: does mainstream culture really know Jimi Hendrix? How familiar are we with the Jimi Hendrix Experience?


Written for AFS 130: Introduction to African-American Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.