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Quotable Fri Feb 29 2008

Quotable Friday

Every Friday is Quotable Friday on the book club blog, where we highlight a notable passage from a book with a Chicago connection. This week's quotable is from Selling the Race: Culture, Community, and Black Chicago, 1940-1955 by Adam Green:

"When asked in 1955 to account for the successes of Black Chicago's music, guitarist Bill Broonzy remarked that it was 'just born in us to sing and play the blues.' Naturalizing genius in this way remains the signature of most accounts of African-American music in the Windy City. Black music, by most lights, signifies the staying power of blackness itself: LeRoi Jones once described it as 'the one vector out of African culture impossible to eradicate.' Given Chicago's historic representation as the site of change and even destabilization for its black inhabitants old and new, such promises of enduring nature held special attractions. Little wonder then that accounts of Black Chicago so often present musical culture and community as synonyms for one another, reminding us of Jones's further variation on Bill Broonzy's theme: 'the song and the people is the same.'"

 
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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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