Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound

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$24.95  $23.20
Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.27 X 9.26 X 1.65 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author
Daphne A. Brooks is author of Jeff Buckley's Grace and Bodies in Dissent, winner of the Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American performance studies. The William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Theater Studies, American Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, Brooks has written liner notes to accompany the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell, and Prince, as well as stories for the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, and Pitchfork.
Brooks traces all kinds of lines, finding unexpected points of connection...inviting voices to talk to one another, seeing what different perspectives can offer, opening up new ways of looking and listening by tracing lineages and calling for more space.-- "New York Times" (2/17/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Daphne Brooks has written a gloriously polyphonic book. Moving through the tumult of the twentieth century and the millennium, she scores, archives, and curates the history of Black woman musicians and their radical modernities, all created in a culture that presumed they had no voices or minds. What did they do to be so Black, brilliant, and blue? Listen. And read on.--Margo Jefferson, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Negroland
Brooks takes on a wide-ranging study of Black female artists, from elders like Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters to Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe. But she reaches far beyond music, exploring writers like Zora Neale Hurston and Pauline Hopkins...Liner Notes is a secret history in the spirit of Greil Marcus, connecting the sonic worlds of Black female mythmakers and truth-tellers.--Rob Sheffield "Rolling Stone" (12/29/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Brooks moves deftly between eras, from early-twentieth-century blues and vaudeville to Lemonade-era Beyoncé...In articulating the intellectual labor of so many Black women artists--unknown, 'undertheorized, ' or both--she implicitly acknowledges those who, for whatever reason, didn't make it into the capital-A archive, but whose contributions surround us nonetheless...Liner Notes is a loud warning shot: seeing Black women everywhere is not the same as seeing Black women.--Rawiya Kameir "Bookforum" (6/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Takes on the weighty task of sifting through more than a century's worth of music history, cultural criticism and long forgotten archives to explore the revolutionary practices of Black women musicians...Brooks is effusive in her belief that not only did these women exist in spaces previously thought to be exclusively white, she suggests their impact can be felt in all spheres of music today.--Stephanie Phillips "The Wire" (3/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
A passionate book, written with a vigorous confidence...Brooks's command of history and her reading are broad and deep...Instinct says there is a large audience that is not only sympathetic to what she has to say but would be charged up by Brooks's ideas, that would hear in the music what Brooks hears.--George Grella "Brooklyn Rail" (6/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Effortlessly poetic, deeply historical, and insistently imaginative, Liner Notes for the Revolution doesn't merely give voice to unheeded and crucial innovators; it offers a new method for approaching music history itself.--Ann Powers, author of Good Booty
Daphne Brooks's brilliant evocation of what gets lost when women of color don't speak, let alone sing, is one of the most moving testaments to the power of silence, and what breaking that silence means, that I have ever read. Vivid, joyful, and heartbreaking in its passionate understanding of soul in all its manifestations, Liner Notes for the Revolution is itself a new kind of music: propulsive, witty, wise, and true.--Hilton Als, author of White Girls
For Daphne Brooks, black feminist sound is sensuous thought. In Liner Notes for the Revolution, she feels and shows and says this with such devotion, such critical and emotional intelligence, such archival commitment and dexterity, and such urgent social aspiration that listening itself is new again.--Fred Moten, author of All That Beauty
Liner Notes for the Revolution is a groundbreaking and breathtaking volume from one of our leading cultural historians that will forever change the way we write and think about American culture. Daphne Brooks insists upon the genius of Black women music-makers, listeners, and critics. This transformative work of intellectual generosity is sure to join the ranks of classic works such as Amiri Baraka's Blues People and Greil Marcus's Lipstick Traces.--Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of Harlem Nocturne
It went so many unexpected places and it fed me. I was especially drawn to the under-told stories of trailblazing women who were the collectors, archivists, and storytellers. She's made what has been in the shadows legible. It's full of stories of creative resistance and persistence. Perfect for this moment.-- "Los Angeles Times" (12/25/2021 12:00:00 AM)
A sweeping survey of Black women's contributions to music history and a rigorous mapping of their lives as intellectuals. From Bessie Smith to Beyoncé...A positively revolutionary 'critical re-attunement.'-- "Pitchfork" (11/22/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Through storytelling, analysis, and archival research, Liner Notes for the Revolution spans generations of Black women as musical pioneers, including Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday, and Tina Turner, and calls attention to their resounding influence.--Jaelani Turner-Williams "Teen Vogue" (6/7/2022 12:00:00 AM)
Enlightening...a fresh perspective on more than a century's worth of Black female musicians...Brooks combines an impressive archive of musical works and the artists' own words to convincingly reveal how they each impacted popular culture. Music aficionados should take note.-- "Publishers Weekly" (12/8/2020 12:00:00 AM)
A spirited study of how Black women musicians and writers have informed each other despite gatekeepers' neglect and dismissals...A sui generis and essential work on Black music culture destined to launch future investigations.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)" (1/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
A lyrical masterpiece that takes readers on an exhilarating journey through a century of Black sound from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé...Brooks' liner notes are a 'requiem' for the oversight of Black women musicians and their intellectual resonance.-- "New Books Network" (2/23/2021 12:00:00 AM)
An impressive exploration of Black women's intellectuality in music.--Jordannah Elizabeth "Amsterdam News" (3/25/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Rich with insights...A rigorous and sweeping counter-history of American pop.--Danielle A. Jackson "Vulture" (5/21/2021 12:00:00 AM)