Black Music in America

A History Through its People
Jim Haskins
ISBN 9781566491334 (paperback)
Published in February 2000
MSRP $14.00
“This history of black music provides an admirable parade of musicians and related personalities as it unfolds through their life stories. Linkages and relationships are smoothly styled to move readers from unknown historical figures to contemporary, highly visible performers. This book will enhance music collections for young readers.” - School Library Journal

Recipient of the 1988 Carter G. Woodson Award (NCSS)
A 1987 Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)

From the earliest slave songs and spirituals, through the birth of ragtime and the blues, to classic jazz, bop, soul, disco, modern jazz, rap and beyond – black music has been so influential as to become the dominant music in America, and perhaps the world.

According to James Haskins, the history of black music in America “is the history as much of obstacles overcome as of the blossoming and branching out of new musical forms.” His panoramic view of black music in America from the early 1800s to the present describes how black musicians were by turns thwarted and encouraged by the changing social climate.

To tell the fascinating story of how this music grew and flourished, Haskins presents vivid, living portraits of the extraordinary men and women who gave the world America's first truly original cultural gift.

James Haskins was one of the world's foremost experts on African-American cultural history. He was for many years a professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, also living in New York City. He is the author notably of Mr. Bojangles (with N.R. Mitgang), Bricktop, Black Dance in America, Mabel Mercer: A Life, and Scatman: An Authorized Biography of Scatman Crothers (with Helen Crothers), all available from Welcome Rain.