Issues in African American Music : Power, Gender, Race, Representation book cover
1st Edition

Issues in African American Music
Power, Gender, Race, Representation

ISBN 9780415881838
Published November 9, 2016 by Routledge
418 Pages

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Book Description

Issues in African American Music: Power, Gender, Race, Representation is a collection of twenty-one essays by leading scholars, surveying vital themes in the history of African American music. Bringing together the viewpoints of ethnomusicologists, historians, and performers, these essays cover topics including the music industry, women and gender, and music as resistance, and explore the stories of music creators and their communities.

Revised and expanded to reflect the latest scholarship, with six all-new essays, this book both complements the previously published volume African American Music: An Introduction and stands on its own. Each chapter features a discography of recommended listening for further study. From the antebellum period to the present, and from classical music to hip hop, this wide-ranging volume provides a nuanced introduction for students and anyone seeking to understand the history, social context, and cultural impact of African American music.

Table of Contents


1. Performing Blues and Navigating Race in Transcultural Contexts (Susan Oehler Herrick)

2. New Bottle, Old Wine: Whither Jazz Studies? (Travis A. Jackson)

3. The Politics of Race Erasure in Defining Black Popular Music Origins (Portia K. Maultsby)

4. Negotiating Blackness in Western Art Music (Olly Wilson)


5. Crossing Musical Borders: Agency and Process in the Gospel Music Industry (Mellonee V. Burnim)

6. Industrializing African American Popular Music (Reebee Garofolo)

7. The Motown Legacy: Homegrown Sound, Mass Appeal (Charles E. Sykes)

8. Stax Records and the Impulse Toward Integration (Rob Bowman)

9. Uptown Sound—Downtown Bound: Philadelphia International Records (John A. Jackson)

10. "And the Beat Goes On": SOLAR—The Sound of Los Angeles Records (Scot Brown)

11. Tyscot Records: Gospel Music Production as Ministry (Tyron Cooper)


12. Voices of Women in Gospel: Resisting Representations (Mellonee V. Burnim)

13. Are All the Choir Directors Gay? Black Men’s Sexuality and Identity in Gospel Performance (Alisha Lola Jones)

14. Women in Blues: Transgressing Boundaries (Daphne Duval Harrison)

15. Jazz History Remix: Black Women from "Enter" to "Center" (Sherrie Tucker)

16. The Reception of Blackness in "women’s music" (Eileen M. Hayes)

17. African American Women and the Dynamics of Gender, Race, and Genre in Rock ’n’ Roll (Maureen Mahon)

18. "Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She Thang": Women in Hip Hop (Cheryl L. Keyes)


19. The Antebellum Period: Communal Coherence and Individual Expression (Lawrence W. Levine)

20. Civil Rights Period: Music as an Agent of Social Change (Bernice Johnson Reagon)

21. The Post-Civil Rights Period: The Politics of Musical Creativity (Mark Anthony Neal)

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Portia K. Maultsby is Laura Boulton Professor Emerita of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and Research Associate in the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University.

Mellonee V. Burnim is Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Adjunct Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and Director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University.


"With this latest edition of their landmark collection, Portia Maultsby and Mellonee Burnim have once again shown why they have been leading ethnomusicologists for decades. Deftly organized and updated with robust case studies, Issues in African American Music documents the fruit of the interpretive turn in African American music studies, joining historical inquiry with powerful, smartly argued opinion. This book will define the field for the next generation of scholars, activists, students, and fans."

—Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop

"This indispensable anthology builds on the scholarship of Maultsby and Burnim's first volume, expanding its critical and theoretical scope and reach. By focusing on ways to approach reading multiple genres, as well as the intersecting politics of black music and mass culture, the impact of gender on black musicking, and the trajectories of black sonic activism, Issues in African American Music underscores the lasting influence, centrality, and historical depths of these expressive forms that sit at the heart of American culture."

—Daphne Brooks, author of Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910