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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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(p.273) Epilogue
Seems Like Murder Here

Adah Cussow

University of Chicago Press

The emergence of a mass white audience for blues has been accompanied by what might be called a sanitizing of the jook. It is commonly shown that the spectacle of blues music is a force for racial healing. Like blues culture, it seems inevitable that the blues literary tradition will continue to evolve over the coming decades. African American texts will inevitably remain at the center of an emerging canon, but it appears equally clear that space will need to be found for an increasing number of non-African American blues texts. Whatever the provenance of blues literature in the future, it may be said with some confidence that the benchmark for “real” blues will remain working-class African American experience in the Jim Crow South, with secondary offshoots in the northern urban ghettos of the mid-twentieth century, the Promised Land that sadly failed the sons and daughters of the Great Migration.

Keywords:   blues music, blues culture, blues literary tradition, racial healing, jook, Jim Crow South

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