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Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation Paperback – May 18, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415965712 ISBN-10: 0415965713 Edition: 1st

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Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation + What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415965713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415965712
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,526,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Neal avoids polemics on the lyrical banality of black music or the over-hyped, oversexed videos pervading Black Entertainment Television. He redefines the terrain by advancing a discussion of artists working and succeeding within--and along the boundaries of--the existing subgenres of black popular music. -- The Washington Post
Neal creates a dense, sensuous space for a critical cultured black perspective, what Soul Babies called the 'post-soul aesthetic' in black America. He illustrates his thesis through use of black vernacular forms to produce a voice that is both streetwise and scholarly ...Neal may be the first writer capable of developing groundbreaking ideas in the academy and getting a new sticker on his 'ghetto pass' in one stroke. -- The Washington Post
Neal's vision is (as always) right on target, and he does analyze important subjects never heretofore treated in depth. Surely worthy of consideration by those academic libraries with a strong interest in contemporary black American cultural studies. -- Library Journal
Reading this book is like sitting down to a plate of collard greens with chopped up onions and tomatoes and a little touch of wine vinegar. A mouth-watering piece of hot water corn bread. A lean mean piece of short rib. And you know it's only going to get better because there is a sumptuous banana pudding bringing up the rear . . . . Smack those lips. Rub them hands. Say the blessing and get ready to feast! Thank you Mark Anthony Neal. It is delicious and truly delectable. -- Umar Bin Hassan, The Last Poets: Selected Poems and a History of the Last Poetsn
Engaging, smart, and funny as hell, Songs in the Key of Black Life leaves no soul unturned. His lyrical analyses range from Patti Labelle to Laura Nyro, Jill Scott to Jay Z, academia to black radio. You won't find many scholars with Neal's deep and abiding knowledge of contemporary black popular culture, and you won't find any able to throw down such head-noddin' prose. -- Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
Mark Anthony Neal is one of the most creative and insightful intellectuals on the contemporary scene exploring how black popular music, especially R&B, provides a complex and rich historical legacy of submerged memories and communities of struggle that encompass the lived experience of black life in the United States. -- Henry Giroux, author of Impure Acts: The Practical Politics of Cultural Studies
Once again, Mark Anthony Neal has proven himself to be one of our most astute critics of contemporary American music. Neal takes readers on an exciting journey through the terrain of black popular culture shedding new light on the relationship between power, politics and cultural production. Courageous, Provocative and Insightful, Songs in the Key of Black Life is sure to spark dialogue and debate for all who read it. -- Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University
Reading this book is like sitting down to a plate of collard greens with chopped up onions and tomatoes and a little touch of wine vinegar. A mouth-watering piece of hot water corn bread. A lean mean piece of short rib. And you know it's only going to get better because there is a sumptuous banana pudding bringing up the rear . . . . Smack those lips. Rub them hands. Say the blessing and get ready to feast! Thank you Mark Anthony Neal. It is delicious and truly delectable. -- Umar Bin Hassan, The Last Poets: Selected Poems and a History of the Last Poets
Neal creates a dense, sensuous space for a critical cultured black perspective, what Soul Babies called the post-soul aesthetic in black America. He illustrates his thesis throught use of black vernacular forms to produce a voice that is both streetwise and scholarly ...Neal may be the first writer capable of developing groundbreaking ideas in the academy and getting a new sticker on his ghetto pass in one stroke. -- The Washington Post

About the Author

Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Program in African and African-American Studies at Duke University. Neal is the author of What the Music Said, Soul Babies, and Songs in the Key of Black Life, all published by Routledge.

More About the Author

Mark Anthony Neal is Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for Teaching. He is the author of four books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003) and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). Neal is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader, 2nd Edition which will be published by Routledge in April of 2011 Neal's next book Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities will be published next year by New York University Press.

Neal hosts the weekly webcast, 'Left of Black' in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University (Duke on Demand). A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, Neal is a weekly columnist for theLoop21.com and also contributes to several on-line media outlets, including The Root.com, theGrio.com, SeeingBlack.com and Britain's New Black Magazine. Neal maintains a blog at NewBlackMan (http://newblackman.blogspot.com/). You can follow him on Twitter @NewBlackMan.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Lamont Hill on July 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Songs in the Key of Black life is another piece of fine scholarship from one the most brilliant young cultural critics around. The book is both accessible and rigorous, dealing with complex academic and popular subject matter in way that evinces both his erudition and ghetto authenticity. Songs in the Key of Black LIfe is an indispensable part of the growing body of literature on contemporary Black Popular Culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
very well paced and put together that speaks on what moves and also what is happening and the overall impact and how it covers so much and also the questions and hopefully answers it has or leaves. a very compelling and well written book that makes for a interesting read from start to finish.
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