Reporting by WVUA 23 Reporter Monae StevensMusic has been a form of expression for African Americans since their first arrival to Jamestown back in 1619. Four hundred years later, many people explored the history of African American music at Birthright Auditorium last night.From old spirituals to jazz, to contemporary gospel, music has brought African Americans through trials and tribulations. Jerusalem AME Zion Church celebrated with performances of classic songs from each genre of African American music.This celebration taught children of the younger generations about the history of music and how it has inspired contemporary African American music. Cynthia Walton-Hollingsworth and Shawn Blackmon hope listening and understanding these various genres will help to bridge the generational gap in music.“I’m hoping that they will have an appreciation for our music,” Walton-Hollingsworth said. “And I’m hoping that it would encourage them to go back and listen to some of the different genres that they might not have been aware of before they came here.”Performers sang songs from artists like Sam Cooke and Dinah Washington. Blackmon said this event has benefits for people of any age who attend.“For the younger kids, to understand where they came from and how music has evolved and for the older adults, to understand what their kids are listening to is not so far-fetched from what they grew up on,” he said.