7:00 - 8:30
A conversation with Dr. Daphne A. Brooks, winner of the American Book Award 2022 and the MAAH Stone Book Award for her book Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound. In conversation with Justin Desmangles.
Liner Notes for the Revolution offers a startling new perspective on these acclaimed figures—a perspective informed by the overlooked contributions of other Black women concerned with the work of their musical peers. Zora Neale Hurston appears as a sound archivist and a performer, Lorraine Hansberry as a queer Black feminist critic of modern culture, and Pauline Hopkins as America’s first Black female cultural commentator. Brooks tackles the complicated racial politics of blues music recording, song collecting, and rock and roll criticism. She makes lyrical forays into the blues pioneers Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith, as well as fans who became critics, like the record-label entrepreneur and writer Rosetta Reitz. In the twenty-first century, pop superstar Janelle Monae’s liner notes are recognized for their innovations, while celebrated singers Cécile McLorin Salvant, Rhiannon Giddens and Valerie June take their place as cultural historians.
With an innovative perspective on the story of Black women in popular music—and who should rightly tell it—Liner Notes for the Revolution pioneers a long overdue recognition and celebration of Black women musicians as radical intellectuals.
Daphne A. Brooks is author of Jeff Buckley’s Grace and Bodies in Dissent, winner of the Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American performance studies. The William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, Brooks has written liner notes to accompany the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell and Prince, as well as stories for the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, and Pitchfork.
Justin Desmangles is chairman of the Before Columbus Foundation and administrator of the American Book Award.
A partnership with the Before Columbus Foundation.