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Blues Legacies and Black Feminism


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Table of Contents

I.  I Used to Be Your Sweet Mama:  Ideology, Sexuality and Domesticity

II.  Blame It On the Blues:  Bessie Smith, “Ma” Rainey and the Politics of Blues Protest

III.  Mama’s Got The Blues:  Rivals, Girlfriends and Advisors

IV.  Here Come My Train:  Traveling Themes in Ma Rainey’s Blues

V.  Preaching the Blues:  Spirituality and Self-Consciousness

VI.  Up In Harlem Every Saturday Night:  Blues and the Black Aesthetic

VII.  When A Woman Loves A Man:  Social Implications of Billie Holiday’s Love Songs

VIII.  Strange Fruit:  Music and Social Consciousness

Lyrics to Songs Recorded by Gertrude “Ma” Rainey

Lyrics to Songs Recorded by Bessie Smith

Works Consulted
Permissions Acknowledgments

About the Author

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, includingWomen, Race, and ClassandAre Prisons Obsolete?She is the subject of the acclaimed documentaryFree Angela and All Political Prisonersand is distinguished professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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