Adah Cussow

in Seems Like Murder Here

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226310978
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226311005 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces the blues tradition. It begins in the South of the 1890s because blues music began to emerge as a folk form during that decade, coalescing out of a welter of extant black music but extending them all in the direction of pained, restless, sometimes euphoric subjectivity. Lynching has recently emerged as a vital subject within the larger field of blues literature. The intimate violence of blues culture could be rage-filled. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given. The first four chapters are concerned almost entirely with interracial violence as it registers in the blues textual tradition: white disciplinary violence against black folk, black resistance and reprisal against white folk. The last two chapters address violence, one traditionally associated with blues music and blues culture: the knives, razors, “chibs,” ice picks, and guns that have taken the lives of a number of blues musicians.

Keywords: blues music; South; black music; lynching; intimate violence; blues culture; interracial violence; blues musicians

Chapter.  7121 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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