Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

On a hot July afternoon in 1995, the annex building of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Bolden, Georgia, did not ring with the sound of the shout songs or resound to the beating of a stick on the wood floor; nor did that floor move to the force of a score of people moving counterclockwise in the ring shout, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

We wish to thank our families for being there for us and giving us love and understanding—shouters like Deacon Andrew Palmer and Mrs. Lucille Holloway, now deceased, as well as Mrs. Oneitha Ellison, who paved the way so that our way might be easier. ...

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Introduction: "We Never Did Let It Go By"

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pp. 1-16

The ring shout is the oldest African American performance tradition surviving on the North American continent. An impressive fusion of call-and-response singing, polyrhythmic percussion, and expressive and formalized dancelike movements, it has had a profound influence on African American music and religious practice. ...

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1. "Kneebone in the Wilderness": The History of the Shout in America [Image Plates follow pg 52]

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pp. 17-52

According to Lawrence McKiver, "every bit of it is an African act. The old people, that's what they tell me. Nobody does it but our kind of people. The shout. . . it's just an African act. You can tell by the singing, tell by the song, tell by the beat, it's actually an African beat. ...

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2. "One Family of People": The Shouters of Bolden [Image Plates follow pg 84]

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pp. 53-84

The shouters of Bolden live mostly within walking distance of each other, on land they own—land where their grandparents and great-grandparents were slaves. The community is also known as "Briar Patch" after the Briar Patch cemetery. "The Wyllys had a slave [plantation] and the Hopkins had a slave [plantation] ...

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3. Lawrence McKiver, Boss Songster

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pp. 85-104

As Lawrence McKiver approaches his eightieth year, he lives alone in a small house set back off the highway in Bolden—under the live oak trees. With some of his extra earnings from taking the shout out of the community in recent years, he screened in his front porch, ...

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4. The Shout Songs

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pp. 105-163

Along with the shout itself, the shouters of Bolden have preserved a sizeable and impressive repertoire of shout songs. These are today considered a distinct category of song, used only in conjunction with the shout and related percussion. The shout songs would never be sung in church in place of spirituals, hymns, or gospel songs ...

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Transcriber's Note

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pp. 164-166

Upon first hearing the ring shout repertory, even the sophisticated listener can be fooled by the simplicity of the musical construction. But this simplicity is deceptively complex. The improvisational artistry of the leader s singing is so fleeting and varied that putting such virtuosity on paper has been an extremely daunting task. ...

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Historical Essay. The Ring Shout: Revisiting the Islamic and African Issues of a Christian "Holy Dance"

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pp. 167-172

Lorenzo Dow Turners explanation that the word "shout" comes from the Arabic word saut (Parrish 1942; 1965) is one theory of the likely origin of the term. There can be no doubt that the performance context of the ring shout never involves any shouting in the literal sense of the word.1 ...

Notes

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pp. 173-182

Bibliography

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pp. 183-188

Index

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pp. 189-190