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

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From one of this country's most important intellectuals comes a brilliant analysis of the blues tradition that examines the careers of three crucial black women blues singers through a feminist lens. Angela Davis provides the historical, social, and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as powerful articulations of an alternative consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American culture. The works of Rainey, Smith, and Holiday have been largely misunderstood by critics. Overlooked, Davis shows, has been the way their candor and bravado laid the groundwork for an aesthetic that allowed for the celebration of social, moral, and sexual values outside the constraints imposed by middle-class respectability. Through meticulous transcriptions of all the extant lyrics of Rainey and Smith−published here in their entirety for the first time−Davis demonstrates how the roots of the blues extend beyond a musical tradition to serve as a conciousness-raising vehicle for American social memory. A stunning, indispensable contribution to American history, as boldly insightful as the women Davis praises, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism is a triumph.
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Grouped Work ID 7cb6e9e3-6552-7853-a470-458caf0f8892
Full title blues legacies and black feminism gertrude ma rainey bessie smith and billie holiday
Author davis angela y
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-05-26 23:36:46PM
Last Indexed 2018-05-27 00:35:24AM

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author Angela Y. Davis
author_display Davis, Angela Y
available_at_school Overton High
collection_school Non-Fiction
detailed_location_school Overton High - Teen Non-Fiction
display_description 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.
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id 7cb6e9e3-6552-7853-a470-458caf0f8892
isbn 067945005, 9780307574442, 9780679771265
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_school 782.4216 DAV
owning_library_school Schools
owning_location_school Overton High
primary_isbn 067945005
publishDate 1998, 2011
record_details ils:CARL0000098833|Book|Books||English|Pantheon Books,|1998.|xx, 427 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm., overdrive:de3ead2d-9306-4181-b134-8d6d40e3dfd0|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2011|
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subject_facet African American women singers -- United States, Blues (Music) -- History and criticism, Blues (Music) -- Texts, Feminism and music -- United States, Holiday, Billie, -- 1915-1959, Rainey, Ma, -- 1886-1939, Smith, Bessie, -- 1898?-1937, Women blues musicians -- United States
title_display Blues legacies and Black feminism : Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
title_full Blues Legacies and Black Feminism Gertrude Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday, Blues legacies and Black feminism : Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday / Angela Y. Davis
title_short Blues legacies and Black feminism :
title_sub Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
topic_facet African American women singers, Blues (Music), Feminism and music, History and criticism, Holiday, Billie, Music, Nonfiction, Rainey, Ma, Smith, Bessie, Sociology, Texts, Women blues musicians, Women's Studies