Last week’s class was really great. Not only did we have our normal rousing discussions pertaining to class, race, and gender in a historical context, but we had a number of special guests joining us. To start things off, Kajsa, one of our very own CGP alums, stopped in during her busy day at […]Read more "Thanks to Kajsa and our CRG Interviewees"
Essie Mae Moody, known on her birth certificate as Anne Moody, shares her incredibly intimate perspective on life for African Americans in the South in the 1940s through 60s in her autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi. From age four until about twenty-four, the book explains the world from Essie Mae’s eyes, mind, and heart. […]Read more "I WONDER. I really WONDER."
This statement works well to sum up the lives of blues queens such as Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and Bessie Smith. During the 1920s and 30s, when there were clear-cut gender roles for men and, particularly, women, female blues singers showed Society that they were going to do things their own way. As Smith’s song “Taint […]Read more "I’m going to do just as I want to anyway."
Popular recording artist, Rihanna, sent the media into a feeding frenzy when she was brutally beaten by her pop star boyfriend, Chris Brown, on February 8, 2009. Though convicted of two felonies and facing up to four years in prison, Rihanna forgave Chris, and the high profile couple has reunited. What was the media’s reaction? […]Read more "Rihanna’s Got the “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do” Blues"
Here are links to the musical selections for this week: Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, “Sobbin’ Hearted Blues” Woody Guthrie, “So long it’s been good to know you” Woody Guthrie, “Pastures Of Plenty” Paul Robeson, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” Paul Robeson, “Lonely Road” “Three songs by Leadbelly” Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” Son […]Read more "Working-class blues"
Of course people who are struggling financially want to find a solution to their problems. Listen to this rosy picture that literary critic Edmund Wilson paints and see what you think: “…unemployment has been wiped out, a gigantic reconstruction of industry to extend a … planned economy has been undertaken, and a cultural revolution of […]Read more "Looking For a Way Out of Hard Times? Try Communism!"
Related to our discussion of lynching last time, I’m belatedly posting links to some conversations on the web about the controversial New York Post cartoon. There are over 6,000 comments on The Huffington Post about it. Check out the “Huffington Post bloggers,” but also be sure to scroll all the way down to find the […]Read more "Lynching and the New York Post Cartoon"