Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit

Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit

by Suzanne E. Smith
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674000633

ISBN-13: 9780674000636

Pub. Date: 01/28/2000

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Dancing in the Street Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit Suzanne E. Smith 1960s Detroit was a city with a pulse: people were marching in step with Martin Luther King, Jr.; dancing in the street with Martha and the Vandellas; facing off with city police. And through it all, Motown provided the beat. This book tells the story of Motown—as both musical

Overview

Dancing in the Street Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit Suzanne E. Smith 1960s Detroit was a city with a pulse: people were marching in step with Martin Luther King, Jr.; dancing in the street with Martha and the Vandellas; facing off with city police. And through it all, Motown provided the beat. This book tells the story of Motown—as both musical style and entrepreneurial phenomenon—and of its intrinsic relationship to the politics and culture of Motor Town, USA. As Suzanne Smith traces the evolution of Motown from a small record company firmly rooted in Detroit's black community to an international music industry giant, she gives us a clear look at cultural politics at the grassroots level. Here we see Motown's music not as the mere soundtrack for its historical moment but as an active agent in the politics of the time. In this story, Motown Records had a distinct role to play in the city's black community as that community articulated and promoted its own social, cultural, and political agendas. Smith shows how these local agendas, which reflected the unique concerns of African Americans living in the urban North, both responded to and reconfigured the national civil rights campaign. Against a background of events on the national scene—featuring Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Nat King Cole, and Malcolm X—Dancing in the Street presents a vivid picture of the civil rights movement in Detroit, with Motown at its heart. This is a lively history and a vital one: Peopled with a host of major and minor figures in black politics, culture, and the arts, and full of the passions of a momentous era, it offers a critical newperspective on the role of popular culture in the process of political change. Suzanne E. Smith is Assistant Professor of History, George Mason University. 61Ž8 x 91Ž4 17 halftones, 1 line illus. 320 pp. ISBN 0-674-00063-3 (SMIDAN) $24.95 (£15.50 UK) Music/African-American Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674000636
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Can't Forget the Motor City"

"In Whose Heart There Is No Song, To Him the Miles Are Many and Long": Motown and Detroit's Great March to Freedom

"Money (That's What I Want)": Black Capitalism and Black Freedom in Detroit

"Come See About Me": Black Cultural Production in Detroit

"Afro-American Music, without Apology": The Motown Sound and the Politics of Black Culture

"The Happening": Detroit, 1967

"What's Going On?" Motown and New Detroit

Conclusion: "Come Get These Memories"

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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