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Seems Like Murder HereSouthern Violence and the Blues Tradition$
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Adam Gussow

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226310978

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226311005.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Seems Like Murder Here
Author(s):

Adah Cussow

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226311005.003.0001

This chapter introduces the blues tradition. It begins in the South of the 1890s because blues music began to emerge as a folk form during that decade, coalescing out of a welter of extant black music but extending them all in the direction of pained, restless, sometimes euphoric subjectivity. Lynching has recently emerged as a vital subject within the larger field of blues literature. The intimate violence of blues culture could be rage-filled. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given. The first four chapters are concerned almost entirely with interracial violence as it registers in the blues textual tradition: white disciplinary violence against black folk, black resistance and reprisal against white folk. The last two chapters address violence, one traditionally associated with blues music and blues culture: the knives, razors, “chibs,” ice picks, and guns that have taken the lives of a number of blues musicians.

Keywords:   blues music, South, black music, lynching, intimate violence, blues culture, interracial violence, blues musicians

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