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Ebook Information

Songs in Black and Lavender

Race, Sexual Politics, and Women's Music

An analysis of black women's involvement in the "women's music" scene from the 1970s to today

Drawing on fieldwork conducted at eight women's music festivals, Eileen M. Hayes shows how studying these festivals--attended by predominately white lesbians--provides critical insight into the role of music and lesbian community formation. She argues that the women's music festival is a significant institutional site for the emergence of black feminist consciousness in the contemporary period. Hayes also offers sage perspectives on black women's involvement in the women's music festival scene, the ramifications of their performances as drag kings in those environments, and the challenges and joys of a black lesbian retreat based on the feminist festival model. With acuity and candor, longtime feminist activist Hayes elucidates why this music scene matters. Veteran vocalist, percussionist, producer, and cultural historian Linda Tillery provides a foreword.


"Written with candor and humor, Hayes's study models a welcome, crucial, and decisive turn in scholarship on women's music. Recommended."--Choice

"This book is amazingly fresh and confident. Certainly there is nothing like it in ethnomusicology."--Deborah Wong, author of Speak It Louder: Asian Americans Making Music

"This is the book we've been waiting for. Hayes provides valuable interrogations of the internal and external politics around race, gender, sexuality, culture, and the formations of black feminist consciousness that can make or break a social movement."--Kimberly Springer, author of Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 19681980

"Exhibiting multiple sites of influence and authorities, the first chapter, 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman Festigoer,' is one of the most engaging ethnographies I have read. Who can resist a scholar who isn't afraid to talk about serious matters via one of the highest forms of intelligence: humor?"--Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop


Eileen M. Hayes is an associate professor of music and the chair of the division of music history, theory, and ethnomusicology at the University of North Texas. She is the coeditor of Black Women and Music: More than the Blues.

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