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Sun Ra's Chicago – Afrofuturism and the City - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Sun Ra's Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City

William Sites


The emergence of Sun Ra and his Arkestra in 1950s Chicago is seen today as a foundational moment for Afrofuturist modes of cultural expression. Sun Ra's Chicago investigates how the bandleader's musical cosmology first developed and, in particular, why it came to flourish in Chicago. Focusing on his early years in Birmingham, Alabama and his time in post-World War II Chicago, the book argues that the relationship between Sun Ra and his cities offers new insight into his music and philosophy as well as the role of everyday black urban experience in the development of Afrofuturism as a cultural ... More

Keywords: Sun Ra, Chicago, Afrofuturism, Birmingham, Alabama, Ethiopianism, city, utopian, music, South Side, outer space

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226732077
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226732244.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Sites, author
University of Chicago