A Right to Sing the Blues
African Americans, Jews and American Popular Song
By (author) Jeffrey Melnick
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Right to Sing the Blues by Jeffrey Melnick
Book Description"Black-Jewish relations," Jeffrey Melnick argues, has mostly been a way for American Jews to talk about their ambivalent racial status, a narrative collectively constructed at critical moments, when particular conflicts demand an explanation. Melnick elaborates this idea through an in-depth look at Jewish songwriters, composers, and performers who made "Black" music in the first few decades of this century. He shows how Jews such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, and others were able to portray their "natural" affinity for producing "Black" music as a product of their Jewishness, while simultaneously depicting Jewishness as a stable white identity. Melnick also contends that this cultural activity competed directly with Harlem Renaissance attempts to define Blackness. Moving beyond the narrow focus of advocacy group politics, this book enriches our understanding of the cultural terrain shared by African Americans and Jews.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674005662
(235mm x 155mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jeffrey Melnick
9/11 Culture, Hardback (July 2009)
9/11 Culture serves as a useful introduction to the complexities of American culture in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Written in an accessible language, 9/11 Culture constructs a number of common-sense approaches for the study of all of the works of art high, low, and in-between.
Race and the Modern Artist, Paperback (February 2002)» View all books by Jeffrey Melnick
The essays in this collection examine the disputed relationships between modernity, modernism and American cultural diversity and thus add an important dimension to our understanding of 20th-century literature.
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Author Biography - Jeffrey Melnick
Jeffrey Melnick is Associate Professor of American Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston.
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