During the late 1930s, Sonny Blount transformed his home in Birmingham, Alabama, into a rehearsal space and informal philosophical salon. Interwar Birmingham was a city full of secular and sacred dreams of millenarian freedom, and Blount’s home offered local visitors surprising access to musical experimentation as well as unorthodox theories of racial identity and space travel. Drawing on two African American philosophies typically seen as competing, Blount was also developing a more encompassing conception of leadership. Yet his approach incorporated a quality that was foreign to both Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois: a profound ambivalence toward leadership itself. Jailed in 1942 for refusing the draft, Blount then spent part of the war in a civilian work camp in Pennsylvania, where he encountered for the first time a racially mixed social environment and developed a certain pride in his newly acquired status as conscientious objector. His return home was a difficult one, however, and in 1946 he left the South for Chicago, taking the cultural sensibilities of his Birmingham life with him.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.