ABHM Book Club: Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Y Davis

We will be reading Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Y Davis and discussing it virtually on May 23rd at 6 PM via Zoom.

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Renowned as one of the nation’s leading intellectuals, Angela Davis presents a brilliant exploration of the blues tradition, delving into the careers of three pivotal black women blues singers through a feminist perspective. In her insightful analysis, Davis offers historical, social, and political contexts to reframe the performances and lyrics of Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as profound expressions of an alternative consciousness that challenges mainstream American culture.

Critics have often misunderstood the significance of Rainey, Smith, and Holiday’s work. Davis argues that their boldness and honesty paved the way for an aesthetic that defied middle-class norms, allowing for the celebration of social, moral, and sexual values outside conventional boundaries. Through meticulous examination and complete transcriptions of Rainey and Smith’s lyrics, presented here for the first time, Davis reveals how the blues transcends mere musical tradition, serving as a vehicle for raising social consciousness in American memory.

A remarkable contribution to American history, as insightful as the women it celebrates, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism stands as a vital testament to the enduring influence of these extraordinary artists.

About ABHM Book Club:
America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s founder, Dr. James Cameron, was an avid reader and inspiring writer and educator. To this day, he is the only known survivor of a lynching to write and publish a memoir about such an experience. We have created this book club program in his honor. You can sign up for our book club and see past selections at www.abhmuseum.org.

The ABHM Book Club is free and open to all who are able to attend, although the books will need to be purchased by each participant. You can purchase a copies from Milwaukee’s independent booksellers, such as @boswellbookco , @nichebookbarllc , and @lionstoothmke. If you are having trouble finding a copy, please email admin@abhmuseum.org.


The event is finished.


May 23 2024


Central Standard Time
6:00 PM

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Virtual Event


America's Black Holocaust Museum