I will be provided you with the readings after I hire you. I have each reading title in parethesis.
Write a few lines and answer the following questions:
QUESTION 1: Drawing directly from the list of the definitions of the blues provided in the lecture / pp. 10-12 in the Tracy book, how might you make the argument that blues is not sad music, as it is commonly stereotyped?
(intro to the Wald book)
QUESTION 2: What sorts of general social and political changes took place within African American society following Emancipation and the end of slavery?
How does Jones argue that these changes were reflected in the emergence of blues?
And what is his basic argument about when blues emerged?
In other words, why does he argue that blues didn’t emerge during slavery?
(LeRoi Jones, “Slave and Post Slave”)
QUESTION 3: What are “griots” and how do Evans and Oliver’s arguments about the role of the griots and the blues differ? Also read through Palmer’s material to add to your discussion about griots. (AFRICA AND THE BLUES: Articles by David Evans and Paul Oliver)
QUESTION 4: What is Davis’ basic argument about why blues was so unrestrained/candid in addressing sexuality? How was this related to women’s power? (Angela Y. Davis, “I Used to Be Your Sweet Mama”Angela Y. Davis, “I Used to Be Your Sweet Mama”)
5a. What was the importance of records in Robert Johnson learning his music, and what recording artists was he listening to that we can hear in his music? What was the role of records (by others) in how his mentors, Son House and Charley Patton, learned music? This question is not about Johnson’s own records!
5b. What elements of Johnson’s music led later listeners to think that he had an alliance with the devil? How did the legend of Johnson selling his soul to the devil develop over time?
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