blues ambiguity[1]-092610

blues ambiguity[1]-092610 - Wilson The Blues comprise a...

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Unformatted text preview: Wilson The Blues comprise a mediational site where familiar antinomies are resolved (or dissolved) in the office of adequate cultural understanding. -Houston A. Baker, Jr. Blues Ambiguity: A Lyrical and Historical Investigation is an examination of blues song lyrics and why the double entendre of the meanings behind these lyrics existed. It is an inquiry into the extent of black consciousness in times when black people were thought to be less conscious, if at all. Since black music is useful in community definition, movement, and style it is functional. Its purpose and aims are directly related to the consciousness of the black community (Cone). My main concern is to further portray the ingenuity of black people and to point out that their level of creativity has help mold present popular culture. Blues music is more than a genre or an art form. It is a musical translation of black life in the United States of America, past and present. It allows its writers and performers to fellowship, transmit messages, express joys and pains, and entertain simultaneously. 1 Wilson There are works that have questioned blues music in a general sense, the relationship between it and spirituals, its meanings, and its origins. Still, I have yet to find any that give a clear and objective understanding of the origins of double-speak. The term double-speak refers to the dichotomy of many blues lyrics; the message behind the message. It is not my goal to prove that the blues has a tendency to exist as a coded communication because that has already been achieved. I want to explore why that phenomenon existed in blues music. To understand double-speak it is necessary to understand the life behind it; the lives that created it. Research has proven that black people living in America have produced songs with double meanings since the time of slavery. The blues, however, gives light to what black people were going through after slavery. After Emancipation a vast majority of black southerners became dependent upon and exploited by the system of sharecropping which prohibited them from becoming property owners (Davis, R). These ex-slaves in the post- Reconstruction South were exposed to a segregation system intended to separate the races and create a permanent laboring underclass similar to that of the slave system that they had just been emancipated from. Soon after finding 2 Wilson themselves free from slavery, segregation had robbed black people of their political rights, as well as, their economic opportunity and social mobility. In the late 1860s and early 1870s newly freed slaves of the south had to...
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blues ambiguity[1]-092610 - Wilson The Blues comprise a...

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