book: “why did rock & roll become ‘white’?” – rock & roll and the racial imaginary

September 14, 2016
56 Picks

How exactly did Rock & Roll, the creative offspring of a black man named Chuck Berry, become whitewashed in the span of a decade? That is the equation that drove Jack Hamilton, a professor at the University of Virginia and Slate music critic, to write his new book Just Around Midnight. In an interview with Pitchfork, Hamilton asks, “Why do we ensconce this band in the genre of rock music? You hear them on classic rock stations all the time in the 21st century, but you would never hear the vast majority of music whose influence the Stones themselves were trumpeting.” The Rolling Stones are just one example of rock bands whose music is wrought with Black influence. This book is a much needed exploration of Blackness and erasure in American popular culture. Just Around Midnight is available for pre-order via Amazon and will be on shelves on September 23rd.

By T. McLendon

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