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Flavor And Soul

Author: John Gennari
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022642846X
Size: 22.85 MB
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In the United States, African American and Italian cultures have been intertwined for more than a hundred years. From as early as nineteenth-century African American opera star Thomas Bowers—“The Colored Mario”—all the way to hip-hop entrepreneur Puff Daddy dubbing himself “the Black Sinatra,” the affinity between black and Italian cultures runs deep and wide. Once you start looking, you’ll find these connections everywhere. Sinatra croons bel canto over the limousine swing of the Count Basie band. Snoop Dogg deftly tosses off the line “I’m Lucky Luciano ’bout to sing soprano.” Like the Brooklyn pizzeria and candy store in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever, or the basketball sidelines where Italian American coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari mix it up with their African American players, black/Italian connections are a thing to behold—and to investigate. In Flavor and Soul, John Gennari spotlights this affinity, calling it “the edge”—now smooth, sometimes serrated—between Italian American and African American culture. He argues that the edge is a space of mutual emulation and suspicion, a joyous cultural meeting sometimes darkened by violent collision. Through studies of music and sound, film and media, sports and foodways, Gennari shows how an Afro-Italian sensibility has nourished and vitalized American culture writ large, even as Italian Americans and African Americans have fought each other for urban space, recognition of overlapping histories of suffering and exclusion, and political and personal rispetto. Thus, Flavor and Soul is a cultural contact zone—a piazza where people express deep feelings of joy and pleasure, wariness and distrust, amity and enmity. And it is only at such cultural edges, Gennari argues, that America can come to truly understand its racial and ethnic dynamics.

Flavor And Soul

Author: John Gennari
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022642832X
Size: 24.93 MB
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John Gennari sets out on a quest to find tutti, the everythingness that sits on the edgenow smooth, now serratedbetween Italian America and African America. Tutti, a black friend of his says, the unshakeable belief in beauty, in overflow, in everythingness, the bursting, indelible beauty in a world where there is so much suffering and wounding and pain . . . . Frank Sinatra s legend has meanwhile grown through the idolatry of a new hip-hop generation, we see octogenarian Tony Bennett (Anthony Dominick Benedetto) undertaking concert tours with 20-something Lady Gag (Stefani Angelina Germanotta) while Mario Batali continues to imperialize and monetize Italian cuisine, and Rick Pitino and other Italian American coaches shape championship rounds of college basketball. The essential argument about American culture, Gennari persuasively insists, is the argument about racespecifically, whether blackness, as supporters of jazz exhorted, is an essential ingredient of American cultural reality, or whether, as white nativists warned, going back to the 1920s, it is a dangerous threat to national identity, a force of cultural degeneracy. By the early 60s, Motown had set up cross-racialism by modeling the figure of the Italian pop ballad singer (and Marvin Gaye cut four ballads-and-standards Motown albums, his touchstones being Nat King Cole but also Sinatra and Perry Como). Gennari deftly sketches the interweavings of Italian and African American popular music from jazz to doo wop, soul to hip hop, including the surprising history of Italians in New Orleans music early in the 20th century. Then there s Spike Lee s Do the Right Thing, evoking the racism of Howard Beach and Bensonhurst, but showcasing the untarnished Brooklyn neighborhoods of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. New York and New Jersey and New Haven are at the center of this remarkable book about the intermingling, mergers, contact zones of African America and Italian America, a big space where territorial masculinity vibrates with robust matriarchal energy; where traditions of singing, dancing, and eating embrace the funky vitality and unembarrassed pleasures of the body; where ear-and-eye intensive sensibilities mark extroverted, charismatic presentations of the public self; a history, complicated to be sure, of collaboration, intimacy, hostility, and distancing. Gennari writes with passion, drawing on black and Italian cultural history, literature, food TV, performance art, and cultural criticism to explore the alterations of pain and pleasure, suffering and joy, deprivation and abundance which have produced so much music, cuisine, athletic prowess, and cinemafull of flavor and soulfulness intrinsic to the nation s spirit and psychic health. "

Jazz Italian Style

Author: Anna Harwell Celenza
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107169771
Size: 21.85 MB
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Jazz Italian Style explores a complex era in music history, when politics and popular culture collided with national identity and technology. When jazz arrived in Italy at the conclusion of World War I, it quickly became part of the local music culture. In Italy, thanks to the gramophone and radio, many Italian listeners paid little attention to a performer's national and ethnic identity. Nick LaRocca (Italian-American), Gorni Kramer (Italian), the Trio Lescano (Jewish-Dutch), and Louis Armstrong (African-American), to name a few, all found equal footing in the Italian soundscape. The book reveals how Italians made jazz their own, and how, by the mid-1930s, a genre of jazz distinguishable from American varieties and supported by Mussolini began to flourish in Northern Italy and in its turn influenced Italian-American musicians. Most importantly, the book recovers a lost repertoire and an array of musicians whose stories and performances are compelling and well worth remembering.

In The Name Of The Mother

Author: Samuele F. S. Pardini
Publisher: Dartmouth College Press
ISBN: 1512600202
Size: 80.37 MB
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In the Name of the Mother examines the cultural relationship between African American intellectuals and Italian American writers and artists, and how it relates to American blackness in the twentieth century. Samuele Pardini links African American literature to the Mediterranean tradition of the Italian immigrants and examines both against the white intellectual discourse that defines modernism in the West. This previously unexamined encounter offers a hybrid, transnational model of modernity capable of producing democratic forms of aesthetics, social consciousness, and political economy. This volume emphasizes the racial "in-betweenness" of Italian Americans rearticulated as "invisible blackness," a view that enlarges and complicates the color-based dimensions of American racial discourse. This strikingly original work will interest a wide spectrum of scholars in American Studies and the humanities.

The Jazz Bubble

Author: Dale Chapman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520968212
Size: 14.76 MB
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Hailed by corporate, philanthropic, and governmental organizations as a metaphor for democratic interaction and business dynamics, contemporary jazz culture has a story to tell about the relationship between political economy and social practice in the era of neoliberal capitalism. The Jazz Bubble approaches the emergence of the neoclassical jazz aesthetic since the 1980s as a powerful, if unexpected, point of departure for a wide-ranging investigation of important social trends during this period, extending from the effects of financialization in the music industry to the structural upheaval created by urban redevelopment in major American cities. Dale Chapman draws from political and critical theory, oral history, and the public and trade press, making this a persuasive and compelling work for scholars across music, industry, and cultural studies.

Finding Mecca In America

Author: Mucahit Bilici
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226922871
Size: 10.88 MB
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The events of 9/11 had a profound impact on American society, but they had an even more lasting effect on Muslims living in the United States. Once practically invisible, they suddenly found themselves overexposed. By describing how Islam in America began as a strange cultural object and is gradually sinking into familiarity, Finding Mecca in America illuminates the growing relationship between Islam and American culture as Muslims find a homeland in America. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book is an up-close account of how Islam takes its American shape. In this book, Mucahit Bilici traces American Muslims’ progress from outsiders to natives and from immigrants to citizens. Drawing on the philosophies of Simmel and Heidegger, Bilici develops a novel sociological approach and offers insights into the civil rights activities of Muslim Americans, their increasing efforts at interfaith dialogue, and the recent phenomenon of Muslim ethnic comedy. Theoretically sophisticated, Finding Mecca in America is both a portrait of American Islam and a groundbreaking study of what it means to feel at home.

Vegan Soul Kitchen

Author: Bryant Terry
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0786745037
Size: 15.65 MB
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The mere mention of soul food brings thoughts of greasy fare and clogged arteries. Bryant Terry offers recipes that leave out heavy salt and refined sugar, “bad” fats, and unhealthy cooking techniques, and leave in the down-home flavor. Vegan Soul Kitchen recipes use fresh, whole, high-quality, healthy ingredients and cooking methods with a focus on local, seasonal, sustainably raised food. Terry's new recipes have been conceived through the prism of the African Diaspora—cutting, pasting, reworking, and remixing African, Caribbean, African-American, Native American, and European staples, cooking techniques, and distinctive dishes to create something familiar, comforting, and deliciously unique. Reinterpreting popular dishes from African and Caribbean countries as well as his favorite childhood dishes, Terry reinvents African-American and Southern cuisine—capitalizing on the complex flavors of the tradition, without the animal products. Includes recipes for: Double Mustard Greens & Roasted Yam Soup; Cajun-Creole-Spiced Tempeh Pieces with Creamy Grits; Caramelized Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette; and Sweet Cornmeal-Coconut Butter Drop Biscuits.

Blowin Hot And Cool

Author: John Gennari
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226289243
Size: 35.59 MB
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In the illustrious and richly documented history of American jazz, no figure has been more controversial than the jazz critic. Jazz critics can be revered or reviled—often both—but they should not be ignored. And while the tradition of jazz has been covered from seemingly every angle, nobody has ever turned the pen back on itself to chronicle the many writers who have helped define how we listen to and how we understand jazz. That is, of course, until now. In Blowin’ Hot and Cool, John Gennari provides a definitive history of jazz criticism from the 1920s to the present. The music itself is prominent in his account, as are the musicians—from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Roscoe Mitchell, and beyond. But the work takes its shape from fascinating stories of the tradition’s key critics—Leonard Feather, Martin Williams, Whitney Balliett, Dan Morgenstern, Gary Giddins, and Stanley Crouch, among many others. Gennari is the first to show the many ways these critics have mediated the relationship between the musicians and the audience—not merely as writers, but in many cases as producers, broadcasters, concert organizers, and public intellectuals as well. For Gennari, the jazz tradition is not so much a collection of recordings and performances as it is a rancorous debate—the dissonant noise clamoring in response to the sounds of jazz. Against the backdrop of racial strife, class and gender issues, war, and protest that has defined the past seventy-five years in America, Blowin’ Hot and Cool brings to the fore jazz’s most vital critics and the role they have played not only in defining the history of jazz but also in shaping jazz’s significance in American culture and life.

Tropical Riffs

Author: Jason Borge
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780822369905
Size: 41.29 MB
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Jason Borge traces how jazz helped forge modern identities and national imaginaries in Latin America during the mid-twentieth century, showing how throughout the region, jazz functioned as a conduit through which debates about race, sexuality, nation, technology, and modernity raged in newspapers, magazines, literature, and film.

Standing In Their Own Light

Author: Judith L. Van Buskirk
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806158891
Size: 33.93 MB
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The Revolutionary War encompassed at least two struggles: one for freedom from British rule, and another, quieter but no less significant fight for the liberty of African Americans, thousands of whom fought in the Continental Army. Because these veterans left few letters or diaries, their story has remained largely untold, and the significance of their service largely unappreciated. Standing in Their Own Light restores these African American patriots to their rightful place in the historical struggle for independence and the end of racial oppression. Revolutionary era African Americans began their lives in a world that hardly questioned slavery; they finished their days in a world that increasingly contested the existence of the institution. Judith L. Van Buskirk traces this shift to the wartime experiences of African Americans. Mining firsthand sources that include black veterans’ pension files, Van Buskirk examines how the struggle for independence moved from the battlefield to the courthouse—and how personal conflicts contributed to the larger struggle against slavery and legal inequality. Black veterans claimed an American identity based on their willing sacrifice on behalf of American independence. And abolitionists, citing the contributions of black soldiers, adopted the tactics and rhetoric of revolution, personal autonomy, and freedom. Van Buskirk deftly places her findings in the changing context of the time. She notes the varied conditions of slavery before the war, the different degrees of racial integration across the Continental Army, and the war’s divergent effects on both northern and southern states. Her efforts retrieve black patriots’ experiences from historical obscurity and reveal their importance in the fight for equal rights—even though it would take another war to end slavery in the United States.