Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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Anthem is the product of labor; it is some of the evidence of years of reading, listening, interpreting, writing, conversing, and soul search-ing. It is also a labor of love, however, due to the many people whom it brought me into contact with, formally and informally. It is a nearly overwhelming honor to thank the many people who have oriented me ...
Introduction: Anthem: Toward a Sound Franchise
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Music is a method. Beyond its many pleasures, music allows us to do and imagine things that may otherwise be unimaginable or seem impossible. It is more than sound; it is a complex system of mean(ing)s and ends that mediate our relationships to one another, to space, to our histories and historical moment. The movement of music—not simply ...
1. From Race to Nation: “Ethiopia” and Pan-African Pageantry in the UNIA
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It was the thirteenth of August 1920, nearly two weeks into the month-long International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World held in Harlem, New York. The stage was emblazoned with the colors of red, black, and green, and the two-thousand-member audience sat in eager anticipation of their entrance. On that day the Universal Negro ...
2. Extending Diaspora: The NAACP and Up-“Lift” Cultures in the Interwar Black Pacific
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The NAACP and Up-“Lift” Cultures in the Interwar Black Pacificlooked . . . yet, it is the magic thing by which he can bridge In 1919 Reverend Henry Curtis McDowell, his wife Bessie Fonvielle McDowell, and their daughter arrived in Portuguese-colonized Angola. They were sent by the American Board of Congregational Missions, and ...
3. Songs of Free Men: The Sound Migrations of “Ol’ Man River”
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I’ll sing . . . all over this great land until my people are free.“We know about this struggle,” wrote Paul Robeson. His comments, written during World War II, brought into stark relief the conditions that threatened the practice of freedom on a global scale, and he articu-lated them through a communal language (“we”) balanced by his own ...
4. Women’s Work: “We Shall Overcome” and the Culture of the Picket Line
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You think about that, it’s almost like a prayer of relief. We didn’t make up the song. We just started singing it as a strug-Riding high on their international acclaim, Paul Robeson and Lawrence Brown performed a special concert for the Highlander Folk School in Washington, D.C., on May 10, 1942. Advertised as Robeson “in a pro-...
5. Soul Intact: CORE, Conversions, and Covers of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”
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...In a 1963 picture captured by members of the Highlander Folk School, Nina Simone grips the hands of the man and woman to her left and right while those around her sing (Figure 5.1). This tight space is one of performance, and although she was a solo artist, it was not hers alone. Simone is here sandwiched between two formidable Black activists...
6. Sounds of Exile: “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” and ANC Ambassadors
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Carnegie Hall was like a second home for Nina Simone. She performed there on more than ten occasions, each time as a more accomplished and higher profile artist. Yet it was her May 1961 show that marked an early “milestone” in her career and made an indelible mark on her per-sonal life. The event was a benefit for a Harlem church, and despite her ...
Conclusion: The Last Anthem: Resonance, Legacy, and Loss at the Close of the Century
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In 1989 Spike Lee released Do the Right Thing, a film that captures the lead-up to and effects of urban conflict in segregated Brooklyn. Infused within this visual catalogue was a soundtrack that punctuated the scenes of the film and carried its political power onto the radio and into the ears of millions across the country. Far and away, the most endur-...
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About the Author
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Shana L. Redmond is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Eth-nicity at the University of Southern California. She is a former musician ...
Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2013