If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition (Hardback)
  • If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition (Hardback)
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If You Don't Go, Don't Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition (Hardback)

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£24.99
Hardback 155 Pages / Published: 28/02/2001
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'If you don't go, don't hinder me. I am leaving this place. I would like company. If I have to travel alone, don't get in my way'. How do you survive leaving everything you know to try to reconstruct your life and future in a new way? What do you carry with you on your journey to the new place? Migration looms large as a theme in twentieth-century African American life. Bernice Johnson Reagon uses this theme as a centering structure for four essays that examine different genres of African American sacred music as they manifested themselves throughout the twentieth century and within her own life. The first essay examines the evolution of gospel music by looking at the work of Charles Albert Tindley, Thomas Andrew Dorsey, Reverend Smallwood Williams, Roberta Martin, Pearl William Jones, and Richard Smallwood.In the next essay Reagon relates the story of Deacon William Reardon and the prayer bands that carried the tradition of South Carolina spirituals through the twentieth century in the communities of Washington DC, and Baltimore. The concert spiritual tradition is the subject of the third essay, and the final essay explores how stories about African American women of the nineteenth century became a source of strength for Reagon in her development as an African American woman, singer, fighter, and scholar. Bernice Johnson Reagon is the dynamic founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock, a Grammy Award-winning African American female a cappella ensemble. She is Distinguished Professor of History at American University and curator emeritus at the National Museum of American History, and she has worked at the Smithsonian Institution for many years. She is the editor of "We'll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers" and other works.

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803239135
Number of pages: 155
Weight: 312 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In 1996, the University of Nebraska invited Reagon to present a series of lectures on the sacred song tradition, and these talks provide the essence of the four chapters in this excellent volume. . . . The bibliography is significant and valuable."--"Choice".

"In the four historical essays that make up "If You Don''t Go, Don''t Hinder Me", Bernice Johnson Reagon ratchets up the hybrid essence of the historical essay by adding . . . another genre: autobiography. . . . And justifiably so, for African American spirituality, as revealed through its many musics, defies the telling of its evolution either through music criticism or historical narration. In a phrase Reagon heard during childhood, this tradition is all about ''making a way out of no way''. . . . Reagon''s life--particularly her accomplishments as a singer, historian, and civil rights activist--imparts structure to her essays where the music alone would resist it. As founder and lead singer of the award-winning female ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, she has lived and breathed all forms of African American religious music. . . . As a cultural historian who now serves as a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution and as a distinguished professor of history at American University, Reagon challenges conventional historical methods as useful tools to seek out the deeper meanings of black musical spirituality."--"Washington Post".

In 1996, the University of Nebraska invited Reagon to present a series of lectures on the sacred song tradition, and these talks provide the essence of the four chapters in this excellent volume. . . . The bibliography is significant and valuable."--"Choice,"

"Short but eloquent and pedagogically useful.... [a] combination of crisp scholarly narrative with passionate opinion in treating this fiercely complicated subject.... This short boook serves to remind us that no deployment of postmodern theoretical apparatus can measure up to honest and vigorous reflection coupled with clarity concerning whose voice is being heard at a given moment."--Chris Goertzen, "Journal of American Folklore,"

"In the four historical essays that make up "If You Don''t Go, Don''t Hinder Me," Bernice Johnson Reagon ratchets up the hybrid essence of the historical essay by adding . . . another genre: autobiography. . . . And justifiably so, for African American spirituality, as revealed through its many musics, defies the telling of its evolution either through music criticism or historical narration. In a phrase Reagon heard during childhood, this tradition is all about ''making a way out of no way''. . . . Reagon''s life--particularly her accomplishments as a singer, historian, and civil rights activist--imparts structure to her essays where the music alone would resist it. As founder and lead singer of the award-winning female ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, she has lived and breathed all forms of African American religious music. . . . As a cultural historian who now serves as a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution and as a distinguished professor of history at American University, Reagon challenges conventional historical methods as useful tools to seek out the deeper meanings of black musical spirituality."--"Washington Post,"

"Short but eloquent and pedagogically useful. . . . [a] combination of crisp scholarly narrative with passionate opinion in treating this fiercely complicated subject. . . . This short boook serves to remind us that no deployment of postmodern theoretical apparatus can measure up to honest and vigorous reflection coupled with clarity concerning whose voice is being heard at a given moment."--Chris Goertzen, Journal of American Folklore--Chris Goertzen "Journal of American Folklore "
-Short but eloquent and pedagogically useful. . . . [a] combination of crisp scholarly narrative with passionate opinion in treating this fiercely complicated subject. . . . This short boook serves to remind us that no deployment of postmodern theoretical apparatus can measure up to honest and vigorous reflection coupled with clarity concerning whose voice is being heard at a given moment.---Chris Goertzen, Journal of American Folklore--Chris Goertzen -Journal of American Folklore -

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