The Meaning of Soul: Black Music and Resilience since the 1960s


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.65 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Emily J. Lordi is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and the author of Black Resonance and Donny Hathaway Live.


"Emily J. Lordi's The Meaning of Soul will likely be the most important book I'll read this decade. Lordi reminds us that to hear Soul, one must actively listen to winding ways of Black folk. Lordi is the greatest listener this nation has created, and this book will remind us that liberation starts with Black sound."--Kiese Laymon
"Emily J. Lordi incisively and insightfully takes up the daunting task of resurrecting, dissecting, and disentangling soul's wide-ranging legacy, spillage, and overlap in black popular culture, black academia, and radical black politics. Her generation-leaping contrasts of the Soul and "post-soul" era's most spiritualized and radicalized avatars from James Brown to BeyoncΓ© serves up poignant and often piquant musicological reveals about classic, epochal recordings of Civil Rights era and contemporary vintage. Lordi illuminates the evolutionary artistry that insures the poetics, production, and ethos of soul kulcha sustains staying power as a haunted (and hainted) arbiter of black resilience, resistance, and embattled maroon futurism. With wit, detail, and ruminative verve Lordi narrates and interrogates how the journey of the soul meme's movements within musical blackness navigates a crossroads full of split desire for both incendiary grassroots action and an infinity of intimate release."--Greg Tate
"An exquisite work of sound scholarship, The Meaning of Soul offers a new narrative of soul music that compels us to rethink what we have missed about the genre and the political moment it inhabited. It at last articulates a usable, inclusive definition of soul, filling a critical gap in our understanding of black music and sociopolitical experiences in the United States and across the diaspora."--Zandria F. Robinson
"Lordi's distinct takes on the genre are refreshing, built on close listening to artists like Riperton and Donny Hathaway and explorations of albums that reside outside the soul canon."--Zandria F. Robinson "Kirkus Reviews" (4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM)