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Nov 12, 2021 03:00 PM - 04:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211112T1500 20211112T1650 America/Chicago Building Temples for Tomorrow: The Black Music Intelligentsia and the Institutionalization of Black Music Culture (AMS President's Plenary Lecture)

The late 1960s and 1970s marked a period in which the lines of inquiry regarding African American history and culture expanded. This activity was spurred by three major phenomena: the rise of the black consciousness movement, racial uprisings, and the expansion of federal funding that supported the creation of materials and programming that propelled greater understanding of the black experience. Black historians were not the only intellectual community engaged in this work. Within the context of music studies, a black music intelligentsia developed out of the engagement and work of a collective of historians, performers, composers, and librarians. Their organizing led to the establishment of what could be identified as a black music infrastructure that precipitated the expansion of black music's historiography throughout the latter part of the 20th century.

This lecture explores the emergence of the black music intelligentsia and the development of this infrastructure by focusing on the period of 1968-1985. This infrastructure was expansive in scope and included symposia, recording projects, journals, and other forms of scholarship that still frame much of the material culture surrounding black music. However, for this presentation, special emphasis will be given to the development of Black Music Centers, which appeared on historically black and predominantly white college campuses in the years following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This work seeks to illuminate how these centers and the larger black music infrastructure reflected the influence of the black nationalistic ideology of "institution-building" and advanced the integration of black music studies into the American colleges and universities.

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org

The late 1960s and 1970s marked a period in which the lines of inquiry regarding African American history and culture expanded. This activity was spurred by three major phenomena: the rise of the black consciousness movement, racial uprisings, and the expansion of federal funding that supported the creation of materials and programming that propelled greater understanding of the black experience. Black historians were not the only intellectual community engaged in this work. Within the context of music studies, a black music intelligentsia developed out of the engagement and work of a collective of historians, performers, composers, and librarians. Their organizing led to the establishment of what could be identified as a black music infrastructure that precipitated the expansion of black music's historiography throughout the latter part of the 20th century.

This lecture explores the emergence of the black music intelligentsia and the development of this infrastructure by focusing on the period of 1968-1985. This infrastructure was expansive in scope and included symposia, recording projects, journals, and other forms of scholarship that still frame much of the material culture surrounding black music. However, for this presentation, special emphasis will be given to the development of Black Music Centers, which appeared on historically black and predominantly white college campuses in the years following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This work seeks to illuminate how these centers and the larger black music infrastructure reflected the influence of the black nationalistic ideology of "institution-building" and advanced the integration of black music studies into the American colleges and universities.

Miami University
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