- Purchase/rental options available:
This “Forgotten Manuscripts” feature spotlights the folk music songbook Negro Songs of Protest, published in 1936 by white radical music collector Lawrence Gellert. In the 1930s, Gellert gained acclaim for a field archive of black musical protest compiled in the U. S. South. In the political realignments after WWII, however, Gellert fell under a cloud of disrepute for allegedly ghostwriting his documentary material. This article details elements of Gellert’s life and work in order to rehabilitate his reputation and, most important, call attention to his valuable archival collection of blues, work songs, spirituals, hollers, and hybrids from the 1920s through WWII.