Kate Dossett: Making Theatre Dangerous Again

Today we welcome a guest post by Kate Dossett, author of Radical Black Theatre in the New Deal, out now from UNC Press. Between 1935 and 1939, the United States government paid out-of-work artists to write, act, and stage theatre as part of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), a New Deal job relief program. In… Continue Reading Kate Dossett: Making Theatre Dangerous Again

Doug Orr: The Profound African American Influence on Appalachian Music

It is generally known that the American banjo’s origins trace back to West Africa and a gourd-like instrument the gnomi, among other names. However, the plantations were something of an incubator for music of the African American slaves in a variety of forms: the fiddle, learned at the plantation house; the call-and-response work songs from the toil of the plantation fields; spirituals stemming from church worship—often clandestine services or camp meetings with hidden messages of freedom’s call; and the hush lullabies sung by mammies to their babies, and sung with irony to the children of the plantation overlords. Continue Reading Doug Orr: The Profound African American Influence on Appalachian Music