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From Black to Blues

From Black to Blues Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/black-sacred-music/article-pdf/6/1/47/792887/47andrews.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 13 February 2021 Dwi.ght D. Andrews White folk don't understand about the blues. They hear it come out but they don't know how it got there. They don't under­ stand that's life's way of talking. You don't sing to feel good. You sing 'cause that's a way of understanding life. Playwright August Wilson in his fictional re-creation of the famous classic blues singer Ma Rainey, captures the poetry, pathos, and power of the blues. Although some might care to debate whether or not "white folk understand the blues," there is no question that there is more to the blues than singing to feel good, or to feel bad, or indifferent. The blues represents a particular worldview - a way of looking at life and of understanding life. Most important, it repre­ sents a way of participating and interacting with life. It is ironic then that the blues, a music which so many feel familiar with, is probably the most misunderstood product of African-American culture-its only rival being the misunderstanding of the African-American him­ self. This short polemic offers a word of encouragement as well as some words of caution to any http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

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Copyright
Copyright © 1992 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-6.1.47
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/black-sacred-music/article-pdf/6/1/47/792887/47andrews.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 13 February 2021 Dwi.ght D. Andrews White folk don't understand about the blues. They hear it come out but they don't know how it got there. They don't under­ stand that's life's way of talking. You don't sing to feel good. You sing 'cause that's a way of understanding life. Playwright August Wilson in his fictional re-creation of the famous classic blues singer Ma Rainey, captures the poetry, pathos, and power of the blues. Although some might care to debate whether or not "white folk understand the blues," there is no question that there is more to the blues than singing to feel good, or to feel bad, or indifferent. The blues represents a particular worldview - a way of looking at life and of understanding life. Most important, it repre­ sents a way of participating and interacting with life. It is ironic then that the blues, a music which so many feel familiar with, is probably the most misunderstood product of African-American culture-its only rival being the misunderstanding of the African-American him­ self. This short polemic offers a word of encouragement as well as some words of caution to any

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1992

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