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A Polyphonic South: Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston's Racial and Sonic Fluidity

A Polyphonic South: Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston's Racial and Sonic Fluidity Jo Se P h m . t hom PSon a p olyphonic s outh Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston’s Racial and Sonic Fluidit y Houston Bound: Color and Culture in a Jim Crow Cit By y Tyi . na L. Steptoe. Oakland: U of California P, 2015. 344 pp. $29.95 cloth. Ebook available. Lightnin ’ Hopkins rooted his music in Texas geography. Songs like “Rainy Day in Houston, ” “I Was Standing on 75 Highway,” “Houston Bound,” and “I Was Down on Dowling Street ,” a song about Houston ’s Third Ward where Hopkins often played, give a sense of place to his par- ticular take on the blues. Kno wing he is from the state of Texas, or even from the city of Houston, is sometimes not enough. You need to know the Third Ward. That same attention to place informs the essenti al new work by histori an Tyina L. Steptoe, who borrows one of Hopkins’s titles for her own. And that kind of interplay bet ween sonic expression and geo- graphic specificit y characterizes the methodologies that drive this fas- cinating book. With a chronological focus spanning the 1920s through the 1960s, Steptoe interrogates Houston ’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

A Polyphonic South: Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston's Racial and Sonic Fluidity

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 49 (2) – May 12, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Jo Se P h m . t hom PSon a p olyphonic s outh Tyina L. Steptoe on Houston’s Racial and Sonic Fluidit y Houston Bound: Color and Culture in a Jim Crow Cit By y Tyi . na L. Steptoe. Oakland: U of California P, 2015. 344 pp. $29.95 cloth. Ebook available. Lightnin ’ Hopkins rooted his music in Texas geography. Songs like “Rainy Day in Houston, ” “I Was Standing on 75 Highway,” “Houston Bound,” and “I Was Down on Dowling Street ,” a song about Houston ’s Third Ward where Hopkins often played, give a sense of place to his par- ticular take on the blues. Kno wing he is from the state of Texas, or even from the city of Houston, is sometimes not enough. You need to know the Third Ward. That same attention to place informs the essenti al new work by histori an Tyina L. Steptoe, who borrows one of Hopkins’s titles for her own. And that kind of interplay bet ween sonic expression and geo- graphic specificit y characterizes the methodologies that drive this fas- cinating book. With a chronological focus spanning the 1920s through the 1960s, Steptoe interrogates Houston ’s

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 12, 2018

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