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The Shadow and the Act – Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism

Walton M. Muyumba


Though often thought of as rivals, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka shared a range of interests, especially a passion for music. Jazz, in particular, was a decisive influence on their thinking, and, as this book reveals, they drew on their insights into the creative process of improvisation to analyze race and politics in the civil rights era. In this inspired study, the author situates them as a jazz trio, demonstrating how Ellison, Baraka, and Baldwin's individual works form a series of calls and responses with each other. He connects their writings on jazz to the philosophical ... More

Keywords: Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, jazz, improvisation, race, politics, civil rights, pragmatism, African Americans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780226554235
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226554259.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Walton M. Muyumba, author