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Uncovering a Mississippi Family Secret
Growing up, Molly Walling could not fathom the source of the dark and intense discomfort in her family home. Then in 2006 she discovered her father's complicity in the murder of two black men on December 12, 1946, in Anguilla, deep in the Mississippi Delta. Death in the Delta tells the story of one woman's search for the truth behind a closely held, sixty-year old family secret. Though the author's mother and father decided that they would protect their three children from that past, its effect was profound. When the story of a fatal shoot-out surfaced, apprehension turned into a devouring need to know.
Each of Walling's trips from North Carolina to the Delta brought unsettling and unexpected clues. After a hearing before an all-white grand jury, her father's case was not prosecuted. Indeed, it appeared as if the incident never occurred, and he resumed his life as a small-town newspaper editor. Yet family members of one of the victims tell her their stories. A ninety-three-year-old black historian and witness gives context and advice. A county attorney suggests her family's history of commingling with black women was at the heart of the deadly confrontation. Firsthand the author recognizes how privilege, entitlement, and racial bias in a wealthy, landed southern family resulted in a deadly abuse of power followed by a stifling, decades-long cover up.
Death in the Delta is a deeply personal account of a quest to confront a terrible legacy. Against the advice and warnings of family, Walling exposes her father's guilty agency in the deaths of Simon Toombs and David Jones. She also exposes his gift as a writer and creative thinker. The author, grappling with wrenching issues of family and honor, was long conflicted about making this story public. But her mission became one of hope that confronting the truth might somehow move others toward healing and reconciliation.
Politics and Global Neoliberalism, 1945–2010
Tennyson S. D. Joseph builds upon current research on the anticolonial and nationalist experience in the Caribbean. He explores the impact of global transformation upon the independent experience of St. Lucia and argues that the island's formal decolonization roughly coincided with the period of the rise of global neoliberalism hegemony. Consequently, the concept of "limited sovereignty" became the defining feature of St. Lucia's understanding of the possibilities of independence. Central to the analysis is the tension between the role of the state as a facilitator of domestic aspirations on one hand and a facilitator of global capital on the other.
Joseph examines six critical phases in the St. Lucian experience. The first is 1940 to 1970, when the early nationalist movement gradually occupied state power within a framework of limited self-government. The second period is 1970 to 1982 during which formal independence was attained and an attempt at socialist-oriented radical nationalism was pursued by the St. Lucia Labor Party. The third distinctive period was the period of neoliberal hegemony, 1982-1990. The fourth period (1990-1997) witnessed a heightened process of neoliberal adjustment in global trade which destroyed the banana industry and transformed the domestic political economy. A later period (1997-2006) involved the SLP's return to political power, resulting in tensions between an earlier radicalism and a new and contradictory accommodation to global neoliberalism. The final period (2006-2010) coincides with the onset of a crisis in global neoliberalism during which a series of domestic conflicts reflected the contradictions of the dominant understanding of sovereignty in narrow, materialist terms at the expense of its wider antisystematic, progressive, and emancipator connotations.
The legendary Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) had many identities. He first broke into Hollywood as a fresh-faced young actor in the 1950s, redefined himself as a rebel director with Easy Rider in the late 1960s, and became a bad boy outcast for much of the 1970s. He returned in the 1980s with standout performances in films like Blue Velvet and Hoosiers, was one of the great blockbuster baddies of the 1990s, and ended his career as a ubiquitous actor in genre movies.Hopper, however, was much more than just an actor and director: he was also a photographer, a painter, and an art collector--not to mention a longtime hedonist who kicked his addiction to drugs and alcohol and became a poster boy for sobriety.Dennis Hopper: Interviews covers every decade of his career, featuring conversations from 1957 through to 2009, and not only captures him at the significant points of his tumultuous time in Hollywood but also focuses on the lesser-known aspects of the man. In this fascinating and highly entertaining volume--the first ever collection of Hopper's interviews--he talks in depth about film, photography, art, and his battles with substance abuse and, in one instance, even takes the role of interviewer as he talks with Quentin Tarantino.
As Spoken in Cajun, Creole, and American Indian Communities
The Dictionary of Louisiana French (DLF) provides the richest inventory of French vocabulary in Louisiana and reflects precisely the speech of the period from 1930 to the present. This dictionary describes the current usage of French-speaking peoples in the five broad regions of South Louisiana: the coastal marshes, the banks of the Mississippi River, the central area, the north, and the western prairie. Data were collected during interviews from at least five persons in each of twenty-four areas in these regions. In addition to the data collected from fieldwork, the dictionary contains material compiled from existing lexical inventories, from texts published after 1930, and from archival recordings.The new authoritative resource, the DLF not only contains the largest number of words and expressions but also provides the most complete information available for each entry. Entries include the word in the conventional French spelling, the pronunciation (including attested variants), the part of speech classification, the English equivalent, and the word's use in common phrases. The DLF features a wealth of illustrative examples derived from fieldwork and textual sources and identification of the parish where the entry was collected or the source from which it was compiled. An English-to-Louisiana French index enables readers to find out how particular notions would be expressed in la Louisiane.
The lower Mississippi River winds past the City of New Orleans between enormous levees and a rim of sand, mud, and trees called "the batture." On this remote and ignored piece of land thrives a humanity unique to the region-ramblers, artists, drinkers, fishers, rabbit hunters, dog walkers, sunset watchers, and refugees from Immigration, alimony, and other aspects of modern life. Author Oliver A. Houck has frequented this place for the past twenty-five years. Down on the Batture describes a life, pastoral, at times marginal, but remarkably fecund and surprising. From this place he meditates on Louisiana, the state of the waterway, and its larger environs. He describes all the actors that have played lead roles on the edge of the mightiest river of the continent, and includes in his narrative plantations, pollution, murder, land grabs, keelboat brawlers, slave rebellions, the Corps of Engineers, and the oil industry. Houck draws from his experience in New Orleans since the early 1970s in the practice and teaching of law. He has been a player in many of the issues he describes, although he does not undertake to argue them here. Instead, story by story, he uses the batture to explore the forces that have shaped and spell out the future of the region. The picture emerges of a place that---for all its tangle of undergrowth, drifting humanity, shifting dimensions in the rise and fall of floodwater---provides respite and sanctuary for values that are original to America and ever at risk from the homogenizing forces of civilization.
African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country
Jerrilyn McGregory explores sacred music and spiritual activism in a little-known region of the South, the Wiregrass Country of Georgia, Alabama, and North Florida. She examines African American sacred music outside of Sunday church-related activities, showing that singing conventions and anniversary programs fortify spiritual as well as social needs. In this region African Americans maintain a social world of their own creation. Their cultural performances embrace some of the most pervasive forms of African American sacred music--spirituals, common meter, Sacred Harp, shape-note, traditional, and contemporary gospel. Moreover, the contexts in which they sing include present-day observations such as the Twentieth of May (Emancipation Day), Burial League Turnouts, and Fifth Sunday.Rather than tracing the evolution of African American sacred music, this ethnographic study focuses on contemporary cultural performances, almost all by women, which embrace all forms. These women promote a female-centered theology to ensure the survival of their communities and personal networks. They function in leadership roles that withstand the test of time. Their spiritual activism presents itself as a way of life.In Wiregrass Country, "You don't have to sing like an angel" is a frequently expressed sentiment. To these women, "good" music is God's music regardless of the manner delivered. Therefore, Downhome Gospel presents gospel music as being more than a transcendent sound. It is local spiritual activism that is writ large. Gospel means joy, hope, expectation, and the good news that makes the soul glad.
Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s
Exploring an overlooked era of Italian history roiled by domestic terrorism, political assassination, and student protests, Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s shines a new light on what was a dark decade, but an unexpectedly prolific and innovative period among artists of comics intended for adults. Blurring the lines between high art and popular consumption, artists of the Italian comics scene went beyond passively documenting history and began actively shaping it through the creation of fictional worlds where history, cultural data, and pop-realism interacted freely. Featuring brutal Stalinist supermen, gay space travelers, suburban juvenile delinquents, and student activists turned tech-savvy saboteurs, these comics ultimately revealed a volatile era more precisely than any mainstream press. Italian comics developed a journalistic, ideology-free, and sardonic approach in representing the key events of their times. Drawn and Dangerous makes a case for the importance of the adult comics of the '70s and '80s. During those years comic production reached its peak in maturity, complexity, and wealth of cultural references. The comic artists' analyses of the political and religious landscape reveal fresh perspectives on a transformative period in Italian history.
<p class="red">The life and early death of a South Side guitar genius, the greatest unheralded Chicago blues-maker
Jimi Hendrix called Earl Hooker "the master of the wah-wah pedal." Buddy Guy slept with one of Hooker's slides beneath his pillow hoping to tap some of the elder bluesman's power. And B. B. King has said repeatedly that, for his money, Hooker was the best guitar player he ever met.
Tragically, Earl Hooker died of tuberculosis in 1970 when he was on the verge of international success just as the Blues Revival of the late sixties and early seventies was reaching full volume.
Second cousin to now-famous bluesman John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker was born in Mississippi in 1929, and reared in black South Side Chicago where his parents settled in 1930. From the late 1940s on, he was recognized as the most creative electric blues guitarist of his generation. He was a "musician's musician," defining the art of blues slide guitar and playing in sessions and shows with blues greats Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and B. B. King.
A favorite of black club and neighborhood bar audiences in the Midwest, and a seasoned entertainer in the rural states of the Deep South, Hooker spent over twenty-five years of his short existence burning up U.S. highways, making brilliant appearances wherever he played.
Until the last year of his life, Hooker had only a few singles on obscure labels to show for all the hard work. The situation changed in his last few months when his following expanded dramatically. Droves of young whites were seeking American blues tunes and causing a blues album boom. When he died, his star's rise was extinguished. Known primarily as a guitarist rather than a vocalist, Hooker did not leave a songbook for his biographer to mine. Only his peers remained to praise his talent and pass on his legend.
"Earl Hooker's life may tell us a lot about the blues," biographer Sebastian Danchin says, "but it also tells us a great deal about his milieu. This book documents the culture of the ghetto through the example of a central character, someone who is to be regarded as a catalyst of the characteristic traits of his community."
Like the tales of so many other unheralded talents among bluesmen, Earl Hooker, Blues Master, Hooker's life story, has all the elements of a great blues song -- late nights, long roads, poverty, trouble, and a soul-felt pining for what could have been.
Sebastian Danchin is a freelance writer and record producer. He also creates programs for France's leading radio network, Radio-France, and is the blues editor for France's leading jazz magazine, Jazzman. His previous books, among others, include Les Dieux du Blues (Paris: Editions Atlas, 1995) and Blues Boy: The Life and Music of B. B. King (University Press of Mississippi, 1998).
Pioneer of the Nashville Sound
"Fans of Arnold's mellow music will appreciate the intensely detailed record of his private life and public career. Others may find the vivid picture of country music's early decades (the many small-town radio stations and deejays that supported the music, the backroads tours, the struggling record labels) quite intriguing." --Kirkus Reviews Illustrated with fifty-four photographs and featuring a comprehensive discography and sessionography, this book traces Eddy Arnold's origins from a cotton farm in western Tennessee to his legendary status in the world of country music. Michael Streissguth covers Arnold's success as a top-selling artist in the 1940s and 1950s and his temporary wane as listeners gravitated toward the rock & roll sound, embodied by newcomer Elvis Presley. Arnold (1918-2008) kept recording, however, and working on his craft. By the mid-60s, he reemerged as a pop crooner with his hit song "Make the World Go Away." His blend of country sentiments and pop stylings created the template for Nashville's modern country music sound. Throughout his career he was a major concert attraction and a radio and television star. Few other figures can claim to have had as great an influence on contemporary country and popular arranging.
Employing never-before-used historical materials, the au-thors of Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press reveal how Mississippi journalists both expressed and shaped public opinion in the aftermath of the 1955 Emmett Till murder. Combing small-circulation weeklies as well as large-circulation dailies, Davis W. Houck and Matthew A. Grindy analyze the rhetoric at work as the state attempted to grapple with a brutal, small-town slaying. Initially coverage tended to be sympathetic to Till, but when the case became a clarion call for civil rights and racial justice in Mississippi, journa-lists reacted. Newspapers both reported on the Till investigation and editor-ialized on its protagonists. Within days the Till case transcended the specifics of a murder in the Delta. Coverage wrestled with such com-plex cultural matters as the role of the press, class, gender, and geography in the determination of guilt and innocence. Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press provides a careful examination of the courtroom testimony given in Sumner, Mississippi, and the trial's conclusion as reported by the state's newspapers. The book closes with an analysis of how Mississippi has attempted to come to terms with its racially troubled past by, in part, memorializing Emmett Till in and around the Delta. Davis W. Houck is associate professor of communication at Florida State University. He is the author of six books, including Rhetoric as Currency: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the Great Depression and FDR and Fear Itself: The First Inaugural Address. Matthew A. Grindy is a doctoral candidate of communication at Florida State University. Keith A. Beauchamp, a filmmaker based in New York City, is the director of The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.