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Blues legacies and Black feminism : Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday

Author: Angela Y Davis
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Jazz, it is widely accepted, is the signal original American contribution to world culture. Angela Davis shows us how the roots of that form in the blues must be viewed not only as a musical tradition but as a life-sustaining vehicle for an alternative black working-class collective memory and social consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American middle-class values. And she explains how the tradition of
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Davis, Angela Y. (Angela Yvonne), 1944-
Blues legacies and Black feminism.
New York : Pantheon Books, c1998
(OCoLC)605408550
Named Person: Ma Rainey; Bessie Smith; Billie Holiday; Gertrude Rainey; Bessie Smith; Billie Holiday
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Angela Y Davis
ISBN: 067945005X 9780679450054
OCLC Number: 37418303
Awards: American Book Award, 1998
Description: xx, 427 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: I used to be your sweet mama : ideology, sexuality, and domesticity --
Mama's got the blues : rivals, girlfriends, and advisors --
Here come my train : traveling themes and women's blues --
Blame it on the blues : Bessie Smith, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, and the politics of blues protest --
Preaching the blues : spirituality and self-consciousness --
Up in Harlem every Saturday night : blues and the Black aesthetic --
When a woman loves a man : social implications of Billie Holiday's love songs --
"Strange fruit" : music and social consciousness --
Lyrics to songs recorded by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey --
Lyrics to songs recorded by Bessie Smith.
Responsibility: Angela Y. Davis.

Abstract:

Jazz, it is widely accepted, is the signal original American contribution to world culture. Angela Davis shows us how the roots of that form in the blues must be viewed not only as a musical tradition but as a life-sustaining vehicle for an alternative black working-class collective memory and social consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American middle-class values. And she explains how the tradition of black women blues singers - represented by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday - embodies not only an artistic triumph and aesthetic dominance over a hostile popular music industry but an unacknowledged proto-feminist consciousness within working-class black communities.

Through a close and riveting analysis of these artists' performances, words, and lives, Davis uncovers the unmistakable assertion and uncompromising celebration of non-middle-class, non-heterosexual social, moral, and sexual values.

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