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Hughbass Music History Ep 5, The Sorrow Songs Part 1

Today I’ll explore the work of Jon Cruz, Sociologist and UCSB professor, and his discussions in his book, “Culture on the Margins” (1999). Subjects like appropriation, the abolitionist movements, and interpretations of black American music create an important road to popular genres like Motown, blues, rock, and gospel. The content that much of this composition exposes is subsumed by commodity, and our journey to elevate the plight of the messenger, not just purchase the message, continues. Enjoy the music example from Marian Anderson, and thanks for watching!



“Wade in the Water” & “I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray”
The Jubilee Fisk Singers

“My Way’s Cloudy”
Marian Anderson, Nov. 1923

-Literature References-

Jon Cruz, “Culture on the Margins”, (Princeton University Press, 1999)
Barbara G. Hoffman, “Griots at War”, (Indiana University Press, 2000)

-Visual Elements-

Chapter 14, The Sorrow Songs Image:
• Special Collections and University Archives, Umass Amherst
Culture on the Margins Image:
Fredrick Douglass image:
W.E.B. Du Bois image:
Alain Locke image:
Barbara Hoffman image:
• Hoffman, “Griots at War”, Indiana Press, 2000
Marian Anderson image:
“The Banjo Lesson” Image:
• Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893, oil on canvas, 49 × 35.5 inches/ 124.5 × 90.2 cm (Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA) from
1830 Slave Auction Illustration, Rischgitz/Hulton Archive—Getty Images from:
“Slaves at Work” image from:
MTV Cribs Buzzfeed Article image:
Huffpost Article image:
• “Race Records” image:
Jubilee Fisk Singers image:

-Video Resources-

Slave Songbook : Origin of the negro Spiritual –
• Excerpt from PBS documentary History Dectectives Slave Songbook tracing the development of Negro Spirituals and cultural connections to Africa
Minstrelsy footage from –
• Ned Haverly does a song and sand dance in blackface in a clip from “Yes Sir, Mr. Bones” (1951)

All other resources from

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