Don't Deny My Name: Words and Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition

Don't Deny My Name: Words and Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition

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University of Michigan Press

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Don't Deny My Name: Words and Music and the Black Intellectual Tradition

Black musical forms profoundly influenced the work of American poet and leading literary figure Lorenzo Thomas, and he wrote about them with keen insight—-and obvious pleasure. This book, begun by Thomas before his death in 2005, collects more than a dozen of his savvy yet engagingly personal essays that probe the links between African American music, literature, and popular culture, from the Harlem Renaissance to the present.

Don't Deny My Name (which takes its title from a blues song by Jelly Roll Morton) begins by laying out the case that the blues is a body of literature that captured the experience of African American migrants to the urban North and newer territories to the West. The essays that follow collectively provide a tour of the movement through classic jazz, bop, and the explosions of the free jazz era, followed by a section on R&B and soul. The penultimate essay is a meditation on rap music that attempts to bring together the extremes of emotion that hip hop elicits, and the collection ends with an unfinished preface to the volume.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780472098927
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 05/02/2008
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction   Aldon Lynn Nielsen     1
All Blues: Roots and Extensions
A Sense of Community: Blues Music as Primer for Urbanization     9
Authenticity and Elevation: Sterling Brown's Theory of the Blues     20
Learning the Changes
"Pass the Biscuits, Please": Lunchtime with Sonny Boy Williamson     33
Bayou City Blues: Lightnin' Hopkins, Juke Boy Bonner, and Peppermint Harris     44
Goin' to Kansas City: Milt Larkin and the Best of the Territory Bands     64
Outward Bound: Eric Dolphy's Migrant Muse     74
America's Classical Music
Evolution of the Bop Aesthetic     87
Classical Jazz and the Black Arts Movement     99
"Communicating by Horns": Jazz and Redemption in the Poetry of the Beats and the Black Arts Movement     105
Ascension: Avant-Garde Jazz and the Black Arts Movement     116
Songs for the People
Rhythm and Blues au service de la Revolution: The Black Arts Movement and Popular Music     137
New and Old Gospel: The Black Arts Movement and Popular Music     152
How You Like Me Now?: Rap and the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement     176
Don't Deny My Introduction: An Unfinished Essay by Lorenzo Thomas     193
Works Cited     197
Index     213

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