Music in Black American Life, 1945-2020

A University of Illinois Press Anthology
Author: Compiled by Laurie Matheson
Introduction by Tammy L. Kernodle
A reader of postwar research on Black American music
Cloth – $110
Paper – $28
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 08/23/2022
Cloth: 08/23/2022
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About the Book

This second volume of Music in Black American Life offers research and analysis that originally appeared in the journals American Music and Black Music Research Journal, and in two book series published by the University of Illinois Press: Music in American Life, and African American Music in Global Perspective. In this collection, a group of predominately Black scholars explores a variety of topics with works that pioneered new methodologies and modes of inquiry for hearing and studying Black music. These extracts and articles examine the World War II jazz scene; look at female artists like gospel star Shirley Caesar and jazz musician-arranger Melba Liston; illuminate the South Bronx milieu that folded many forms of Black expressive culture into rap; and explain Hamilton's massive success as part of the "tanning" of American culture that began when Black music entered the mainstream.

Part sourcebook and part survey of historic music scholarship, Music in Black American Life, 1945–2020 collects groundbreaking work that redefines our view of Black music and its place in American music history.

Contributors: Nelson George, Wayne Everett Goins, Claudrena N. Harold, Eileen M. Hayes, Loren Kajikawa, Robin D. G. Kelley, Tammy L. Kernodle, Cheryl L. Keyes, Gwendolyn Pough, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Mark Tucker, and Sherrie Tucker

About the Author

Laurie Matheson is the director of the University of Illinois Press and longtime editor of the series Music in American Life.

Also by this author

Music in Black American Life, 1600-1945 cover



Each of these chapters unearths, explores, and explains ideas, facts, events, phenomena, and records that have been neglected, forgotten, ignored, falsified or were unknown. They invoke musicological contexts that are grounded in archival and ethnographic research that illuminates the evolution of black music making as it shifts from the insularity of communal spaces to the public medium of popular culture. They mark how black music precipitated the aberration of racial, social, and gender norms."--Tammy L. Kernodle, from the Introduction