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Racial Uplift and American Music, 1878-1943
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Racial Uplift and American Music, 1878-1943

Lawrence Schenbeck

Abstract

This book traces the career of racial uplift ideology as a factor in elite African Americans’ embrace of classical music around the turn of the previous century, from the collapse of Reconstruction to the death of composer/conductor R. Nathaniel Dett, whose music epitomized “uplift.” After Reconstruction, many black leaders had retreated from emphasizing “inalienable rights” to a narrower rationale for equality and inclusion: they now sought to rehabilitate the Race’s image by stressing class distinctions, respectable middle-class behavior, and service to the masses. Musically, the black intel ... More

Keywords: racial uplift ideology, elite African Americans, classical music, Reconstruction, R. Nathaniel Dett, black leaders, equality, inclusion, class distinctions, middle-class behavior

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9781617032295
Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032295.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lawrence Schenbeck, author