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Black resonance : iconic women singers and African American literature

Author: Emily J Lordi
Publisher: New Brunswick, New Jersey ; London : Rutgers University Press, [2013]
Series: American literatures initiative
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Ever since Bessie Smith's powerful voice conspired with the "race records" industry to make her a star in the 1920s, African American writers have memorialized the sounds and theorized the politics of black women's singing. In Black Resonance, Emily J. Lordi analyzes writings by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gayl Jones, and Nikki Giovanni that engage such iconic singers as Bessie Smith, Billie  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Emily J Lordi
ISBN: 9780813562506 0813562503 9780813562490 081356249X 0813562511 9780813562513
OCLC Number: 828190152
Description: xiii, 286 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction: Black resonance --
Vivid lyricism: Richard Wright and Bessie Smith's blues --
The timbre of sincerity: Mahalia Jackson's gospel sound and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man --
Understatement: James Baldwin, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday --
Haunting: Gayl Jones's Corregidora and Billie Holiday's "strange Fruit" --
Signature voices: Nikki Giovanni, Aretha Franklin, and the Black Arts movement --
Epilogue: "At Last": Etta James, poetry, hip hop.
Series Title: American literatures initiative
Responsibility: Emily J. Lordi.

Abstract:

"Ever since Bessie Smith's powerful voice conspired with the "race records" industry to make her a star in the 1920s, African American writers have memorialized the sounds and theorized the politics of black women's singing. In Black Resonance, Emily J. Lordi analyzes writings by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gayl Jones, and Nikki Giovanni that engage such iconic singers as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, and Aretha Franklin. Focusing on two generations of artists from the 1920s to the 1970s, Black Resonance reveals a musical-literary tradition in which singers and writers, faced with similar challenges and harboring similar aims, developed comparable expressive techniques. Drawing together such seemingly disparate works as Bessie Smith's blues and Richard Wright's neglected film of Native Son, Mahalia Jackson's gospel music and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, each chapter pairs one writer with one singer to crystallize the artistic practice they share: lyricism, sincerity, understatement, haunting, and the creation of a signature voice."--Publisher website.

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"Black Resonance is a gem ... The book takes us to school, leaving us with insights and skills, pushing readers and writers, singers and dreamers to think about the ways we engage the literary and Read more...

 
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