African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance is undeniably the most valuable resource available to scholars engaged in Afro-American folk culture research. An untapped wealth of primary information has been chronologically cataloged within this comprehensive, annotated guide. It covers a period of over 300 years of African-American cultural history in the United States. Materials fall into three categories: literary publications, iconographical records, and collections of song, tale, and sermon texts. Focusing on folk culture, 2,328 items were chosen for their historical relevance as well as to insure broad representation. Eileen Southern and Josephine Wright's bibliography provides researchers with the tools needed to shatter myths and stereotypes and to form concise theses supported by extensive evidence.
The bibliography is divided into four major chronological sections: Colonial-Federalist, Antebellum, Post-Emancipation, and Early Twentieth Century. A fifth section, The WPA Slave Narrative Collection, includes materials (collected in the 1930s) that are essential to a serious discussion of American slavery. Within these five sections materials are classified as literature, artwork, and/or collections. Literature and artwork subsections are further divided into social activities, religious experience, song, and tale. Iconographical entries often compliment the literary ones and some themes run throughout the book. The materials are indexed by names of authors and artists, by subject, and by first lines of songs.
EILEEN SOUTHERN is Professor Emerita of Music and Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and Editor/Co-publisher of The Black Perspective in Music. She has contributed articles to Journal of American Musicology, Acta Musicologica, American Music, and several other scholarly journals. She has also served as an area editor of and contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Her book publications include The Buxheim Organ Book, The Music of Black Americans: A History, and Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians.
JOSEPHINE WRIGHT is Professor of Music at the College of Wooster. She has published articles in The Musical Quarterly, The Black Perspective in Music, Women's Studies Quarterly, and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. She is the author of Ignatius Sancho: Early African Composer. Southern and Wright are preparing a companion volume to the present work offering a pictorial record of Afro-American tradition (Greenwood Press, forthcoming).
Thirteen themes and processes outlined in the introduction unify the collection's fifteen case studies and suggest organizing frameworks for student projects. Due to the diversity of music profiled in the book--Mexican mariachi, African American gospel, Asian West Coast jazz, women's punk, French-American Cajun, and Anglo-American sacred harp--and to the methodology of fieldwork, ethnography, and academic activism described by the authors, the book is perfect for courses in ethnomusicology, world music, anthropology, folklore, and American studies.
Audio and visual materials that support each chapter are freely available on the ATMuse website, supported by the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University.