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Explore Racism, Anti-Racism, and Protest in Genre: This section includes resources that give insight into how race and genre intersect in ways that reflect larger institutional and systemic deficiencies.
Black Lives Matter and Music by
Music has always been integral to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, with songs such as Kendrick Lamar's "Alright," J. Cole's "Be Free," D'Angelo and the Vanguard's "The Charade," The Game's "Don't Shoot," Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout," Usher's "Chains," and many others serving as unofficial anthems and soundtracks for members and allies of the movement. In this collection of critical studies, contributors draw from ethnographic research and personal encounters to illustrate how scholarly research of, approaches to, and teaching about the role of music in the Black Lives Matter movement can contribute to public awareness of the social, economic, political, scientific, and other forms of injustices in our society. Each chapter in Black Lives Matter and Music focuses on a particular case study, with the goal to inspire and facilitate productive dialogues among scholars, students, and the communities we study. From nuanced snapshots of how African American musical genres have flourished in different cities and the role of these genres in local activism, to explorations of musical pedagogy on the American college campus, readers will be challenged to think of how activism and social justice work might appear in American higher education and in academic research. Black Lives Matter and Music provokes us to examine how we teach, how we conduct research, and ultimately, how we should think about the ways that black struggle, liberation, and identity have evolved in the United States and around the world.
Publication Date: 2018-08-10
Black Performance Theory by
Black performance theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. This collection of new essays by some of its pioneering thinkers--many of whom are performers--demonstrates the breadth, depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory. Considering how blackness is imagined in and through performance, the contributors address topics including flight as a persistent theme in African American aesthetics, the circulation of minstrel tropes in Liverpool and in Afro-Mexican settlements in Oaxaca, and the reach of hip-hop politics as people around the world embrace the music and dance. They examine the work of contemporary choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Reggie Wilson, the ways that African American playwrights translated the theatricality of lynching to the stage, the ecstatic music of Little Richard, and Michael Jackson's performance in the documentary This Is It. The collection includes several essays that exemplify the performative capacity of writing, as well as discussion of a project that re-creates seminal hip-hop album covers through tableaux vivants. Whether deliberating on the tragic mulatta, the trickster figure Anansi, or the sonic futurism of Nina Simone and Adrienne Kennedy, the essays in this collection signal the vast untapped critical and creative resources of black performance theory. Contributors. Melissa Blanco Borelli, Daphne A. Brooks, Soyica Diggs Colbert, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Nadine George-Graves, Anita Gonzalez, Rickerby Hinds, Jason King, D. Soyini Madison, Koritha Mitchell, Tavia Nyong'o, Carl Paris, Anna B. Scott, Wendy S. Walters, Hershini Bhana Young
Publication Date: 2014-04-14
Hip Hop Desis by
Hip Hop Desis explores the aesthetics and politics of South Asian American (desi) hip hop artists. Nitasha Tamar Sharma argues that through their lives and lyrics, young "hip hop desis" express a global race consciousness that reflects both their sense of connection with Blacks as racialized minorities in the United States and their diasporic sensibility as part of a global community of South Asians. She emphasizes the role of appropriation and sampling in the ways that hip hop desis craft their identities, create art, and pursue social activism. Some desi artists produce what she calls "ethnic hip hop," incorporating South Asian languages, instruments, and immigrant themes. Through ethnic hip hop, artists, including KB, Sammy, and Deejay Bella, express "alternative desiness," challenging assumptions about their identities as South Asians, children of immigrants, minorities, and Americans. Hip hop desis also contest and seek to bridge perceived divisions between Blacks and South Asian Americans. By taking up themes considered irrelevant to many Asian Americans, desi performers, such as D'Lo, Chee Malabar of Himalayan Project, and Rawj of Feenom Circle, create a multiracial form of Black popular culture to fight racism and enact social change.
Publication Date: 2010-08-17
Indigenous Pop by
Popular music compels, it entertains, and it has the power to attract and move audiences. With that in mind, the editors of Indigenous Pop showcase the contributions of American Indian musicians to popular forms of music, including jazz, blues, country-western, rock and roll, reggae, punk, and hip hop. From Joe Shunatona and the United States Indian Reservation Orchestra to Jim Pepper, from Buffy Saint-Marie to Robbie Robertson, from Joy Harjo to Lila Downs, Indigenous Pop vividly addresses the importance of Native musicians and popular musical genres, establishing their origins and discussing what they represent. Arranged both chronologically and according to popular generic forms, the book gives Indigenous pop a broad new meaning. In addition to examining the transitive influences of popular music on Indigenous expressive forms, the contributors also show ways that various genres have been shaped by what some have called the "Red Roots" of American-originated musical styles. This recognition of mutual influence extends into the ways of understanding how music provides methodologies for living and survival. Each in-depth essay in the volume zeros in on a single genre and in so doing exposes the extraordinary whole of Native music. This book showcases the range of musical genres to which Native musicians have contributed and the unique ways in which their engagement advances the struggle for justice and continues age-old traditions of creative expression.
Publication Date: 2016-03-10
Intertribal Native American Music in the United States by
The development of a shared musical heritage amongst the various Native American tribes reveals a history fraught with the tension of the give-and-take between cultural maintenance and new cultural creation. In Intertribal Native American Music in the United States, author John-Carlos Pereaexplores this tension and shows how traditional sounds, such as the powwow song and cedar flute, have developed into increasingly recognizable forms, like Native jazz and rock.These older sounds and their modern incarnations form the four themes around which Perea frames his discussion. First, he examines powwows - American Indian social gatherings founded upon an intertribal repertoire of music and dance - and shows how the assemblies of Northern and Southern Plains andNavajo tribes represent a singular performance encompassing disparate stories and sounds. From the relative insularity of the powwow, Perea then looks at the mainstreaming of the cedar flute and its role in introducing Native American music to broader audiences. From there, he surveys Native rockand jazz, considering their roots and their trajectories, as well as the milestone creation of the Best Native American Music GrammyRG Award in 2000. With this book, Perea offers readers the only brief text that makes clear the interconnectedness of Native American music through a lively analysis ofhow it began and where it is headed.Designed to be used as one of several short and inexpensive case study volumes in the Global Music Series, this volume is appropriate for introductory undergraduate courses in world music or ethnomusicology and for upper-level courses on Native American music and/or culture, as well as NativeAmerican Indians courses in Anthropology. The twenty-second volume in the Series, this text is based on the author's own extensive fieldwork and features interviews with performers, eyewitness accounts of performances, and vivid illustrations. The book also features listening activities that enablestudents to engage critically and actively with the text. The included 70-minute CD contains examples of music discussed in the text, and supplementary material for instructors will be available on the companion web site.
Publication Date: 2013-05-14
Afropop Worldwide: Bomba, Plena And Puerto Rican Protest Music
This episode looks at Puerto Rican protest songs over the past two centuries, including Paracumbé's subversive bomba dances from the time of slavery, Las Barrileras 8M, an all-women drumming group demanding an end to violence against women and a new plena from Hector Tito Matos about the death of George Floyd.
Color Me Country
Available on Apple Music
Rissi Palmer has lived and breathed country music her whole life. On her radio show Color Me Country, the singer-songwriter brings to the forefront the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx histories of country music that for too long have lived outside the spotlight and off mainstream airwaves. Listen in as Rissi has riveting, funny, and necessary conversations with country music's most vital and underrepresented voices.
Most Popular: You Can't Ignore a Force Like Beyoncé
Listen in as Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks and Dr. Kameelah L. Martin talk about their book The Lemonade Reader, a book written as a dissection of Beyoncé's album Lemonade. In this podcast, Brooks and Martin tie together the ways Lemonade serves as an example of the way pop culture can be studied, critiqued, and celebrated. We talk about Beyoncé's use of imagery, spirituality, southern identity, Black feminism, in Lemonade and address some critiques of the album.
Protest Music in 2020: A Timeline
This series — titled We Insist, a nod to Max Roach's 1960 protest album of the same name — attempts to document the songs and videos that will come to define the summer of 2020 and the months leading up to what will certainly be a contentious presidential election. We'll update this timeline throughout the rest of the year with stories about noteworthy songs that confront white supremacy and the state's historical mistreatment of Black citizens.
When Music Becomes Political Protest: The Pitchfork Review
In this episode, Pitchfork Editor Puja Patel speaks with Jason King, professor at NYU and founding faculty member of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and Allison Hussey, Pitchfork Associate Staff Writer, about the changing role of protest music across American history, from 19th-century Black spirituals to Public Enemy, Lady Gaga, and Janelle Monáe. They also touch on the secret history of a Bob Dylan classic, and the new ways pop stars have engaged with activism in the social media era.
Books About Music by Women, Trans, and Non-binary Authors
Included here are works by women, cis women, trans, and non-binary authors, biographers, and artists whose memoirs advance points of view that run obliquely to to the canonical one, as well as work that has been erased or lost. These works explore aspects of race, gender and genre and the intersectionality of them.
The Black Power Mixtape
With contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fuelled an era of convulsive change. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, Mixtape is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.
Say My Name
Sisters, mothers, businesswomen, music artists-in a hip hop and R'n'B industry world by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of SAY MY NAME speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female MCs. From hip hop's birthplace in the Bronx to grime on London's Eastside, emerging artists to world-renowned stars like MC Lyte and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.
Soundtrack for a Revolution
The story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. A unique mix of historical documentary and contemporary musical performance, the film features new performances by top artists; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders.
T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness
T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness excavates the hidden sexualities of Black female entertainers who reigned over the nascent blues recording industry of the 1920s. Unlike the male-dominated jazz scene, early blues provided a space for women to model an autonomy that was remarkable for women of any color or sexual orientation. The fact that some of these women, still famous 90 years later, successfully conducted same-sex relations with friends and working partners is a tribute to their independent spirit and a marker of the relaxed mores that shaped the world of Black entertainment.