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Flavor And Soul

Author: John Gennari
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022642846X
Size: 15.59 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: 24.40 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. "

In The Name Of The Mother

Author: Samuele F. S. Pardini
Publisher: Dartmouth College Press
ISBN: 1512600202
Size: 14.92 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.

Jazz Italian Style

Author: Anna Harwell Celenza
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107169771
Size: 70.18 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.

Finding Mecca In America

Author: Mucahit Bilici
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226922871
Size: 33.68 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.

Picture Man The From The Collection Of Bay Area Photographer E F Joseph 1927 1979

Author: Careth Reid and Ruth Beckford
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1467125652
Size: 18.77 MB
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From 1927 until his death in 1979, E.F. Joseph documented the daily lives of African Americans in the Bay Area. His images were printed in the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender but not widely published in his home community. A graduate of the American School of Photography in Illinois, Joseph photographed the likes of such celebrities and activists as Josephine Baker, Mahalia Jackson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Thurgood Marshall. However, what is perhaps more compelling within these pages are the countless images of everyday citizens--teaching, entertaining, worshipping, working, and serving their community and their nation.

Dancing In Blackness

Author: Halifu Osumare
ISBN: 9780813056616
Size: 38.92 MB
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Foreword / Brenda Dixon Gottschild -- Introduction: dancing in blackness -- Coming of age through (black) dance in the San Francisco Bay area -- Dancing in Europe -- Dancing in New York -- Dancing back into the S.F.-Oakland Bay area, 1973-1976 -- Dancing in Africa -- Dancing in the Oakland and beyond, 1977-1993

Vegan Soul Kitchen

Author: Bryant Terry
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0786745037
Size: 32.12 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.

Hog And Hominy

Author: Frederick Douglass Opie
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231517973
Size: 26.22 MB
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Frederick Douglass Opie deconstructs and compares the foodways of people of African descent throughout the Americas, interprets the health legacies of black culinary traditions, and explains the concept of soul itself, revealing soul food to be an amalgamation of West and Central African social and cultural influences as well as the adaptations blacks made to the conditions of slavery and freedom in the Americas. Sampling from travel accounts, periodicals, government reports on food and diet, and interviews with more than thirty people born before 1945, Opie reconstructs an interrelated history of Moorish influence on the Iberian Peninsula, the African slave trade, slavery in the Americas, the emergence of Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. His grassroots approach reveals the global origins of soul food, the forces that shaped its development, and the distinctive cultural collaborations that occurred among Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Americans throughout history. Opie shows how food can be an indicator of social position, a site of community building and cultural identity, and a juncture at which different cultural traditions can develop and impact the collective health of a community.