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Now We Have the Blues

Now We Have the Blues James Weldon Johnson When I wrote an essay on the Negro's Creative Genius as a preface to "The Book of American Negro Poetry:' I made what was, perhaps, a startling statement by saying that the Negro was the creator of the only things artistic that have yet sprung from the soil and been uni­ versally acknowledged as distinctive American products. That was five years ago. Today the statement would not appear so startling, for since it was made the acknowledgment has widened with surprising rapidity that as a creator of American folk-art the Negro stands unap­ proached. These folk contributions of the Negro may be grouped under four heads: religious songs, folk tales, dancing, and secular music. To these might be added Negro humor, for the humor of the Negro has not only permeated his folk tales, his dancing and secular music, but constitutes a distinct influence in American life, an influence that is felt especially on the stage and, to some degree, even in literature. It has furnished a great many of the catch words and phrases that have been seized upon and made current . Curious it is to note the varying degrees in which recognition of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Now We Have the Blues

Black Sacred Music , Volume 8 (2) – Sep 1, 1994

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Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-8.2.64
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

James Weldon Johnson When I wrote an essay on the Negro's Creative Genius as a preface to "The Book of American Negro Poetry:' I made what was, perhaps, a startling statement by saying that the Negro was the creator of the only things artistic that have yet sprung from the soil and been uni­ versally acknowledged as distinctive American products. That was five years ago. Today the statement would not appear so startling, for since it was made the acknowledgment has widened with surprising rapidity that as a creator of American folk-art the Negro stands unap­ proached. These folk contributions of the Negro may be grouped under four heads: religious songs, folk tales, dancing, and secular music. To these might be added Negro humor, for the humor of the Negro has not only permeated his folk tales, his dancing and secular music, but constitutes a distinct influence in American life, an influence that is felt especially on the stage and, to some degree, even in literature. It has furnished a great many of the catch words and phrases that have been seized upon and made current . Curious it is to note the varying degrees in which recognition of

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1994

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