Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora

Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora

by Shana L. Redmond

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Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora by Shana L. Redmond

For people of African descent, music constitutes a unique domain of expression. From traditional West African drumming to South African kwaito, from spirituals to hip-hop, Black life and history has been dynamically displayed and contested through sound. Shana Redmond excavates the sonic histories of these communities through a genre emblematic of Black solidarity and citizenship: anthems. An interdisciplinary cultural history, Anthem reveals how this “sound franchise” contributed to the growth and mobilization of the modern, Black citizen. Providing new political frames and aesthetic articulations for protest organizations and activist-musicians, Redmond reveals the anthem as a crucial musical form following World War I.

Beginning with the premise that an analysis of the composition, performance, and uses of Black anthems allows for a more complex reading of racial and political formations within the twentieth century, Redmond expands our understanding of how and why diaspora was a formative conceptual and political framework of modern Black identity. By tracing key compositions and performances around the world—from James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” that mobilized the NAACP to Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted & Black” which became the Black National Anthem of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)—Anthem develops a robust recording of Black social movements in the twentieth century that will forever alter the way you hear race and nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814770412
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 12/06/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 356
Sales rank: 1,069,683
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Shana L. Redmond is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is a former musician and labor organizer.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Anthem: Toward a Sound Franchise
1. From Race to Nation: “Ethiopia” and Pan-African Pageantry in the UNIA
2. Extending Diaspora: The NAACP and Up-“Lift” Cultures in the Interwar Black Pacific
3. Songs of Free Men: The Sound Migrations of “Ol’ Man River”
4. Women’s Work: “We Shall Overcome” and the Culture of the Picket Line
5. Soul Intact: CORE, Conversions, and Covers of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”
6. Sounds of Exile: “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” and ANC Ambassadors
Conclusion: The Last Anthem: Resonance, Legacy, and Loss at the Close of the Century
About the Author

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