What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture

Mark Anthony Neal



Rap and hip-hop clearly serve as a public forum for African-American cultural critique; In this book, Duke professor Mark Anthony Neal argues that Black popular music has always played such a role. While describing the ways in which the ""aural landscapes"" of noted performers like John Coltrane and Anita Baker comment on the social realities of their day, Neal is more concerned with social history than with musicology. His interpretations of music are closely informed by the impact of developments like Reconstruction, mass migration, urbanization, the civil rights movement and the rise of the Black middle class on the African-American community at large.