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Blues People: Negro Music in White America – LeRoi Jones (1963)

1960s: Days of Rage


Blues People: Negro Music in White America is a seminal study of Afro-American music (and culture generally) by Amiri Baraka, who published it as LeRoi Jones in 1963. In Blues People Baraka explores the possibility that the history of black Americans can be traced through the evolution of their music. It is considered a classic work on jazz and blues music in American culture. The book documents the effects jazz and blues on American cultural, at musical, economic, and social levels. It chronicles the types of music dating back to the slaves up to the 1960s. Blues People argues that ‘negro music;—as Amiri Baraka calls it—appealed to and influenced new America. According to Baraka, music and melody is not the only way the gap between American culture and African-American culture was bridged. Music also helped spread values and customs through its media exposure. Blues People demonstrates the influence…

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