"Afro-American Symphony" is African American composer William Grant Still's best-known work. It was composed in 1930, shortly after the onset of the great depression. The tonic center of the piece is a blues theme which is introduced in the first movement and then reappears in various forms in the three later movements. Still also used a tenor banjo as part of the orchestra, symbolizing an African American character.

Still later commented on the timeliness is which the piece was released: "It was not until the depression struck that I was jobless long enough to let the symphony take place."

Source: Music: An Appreciation by Roger Kamien