Guest Lecture

Uncivil Wrongs: Black American Song Deals with Racism

Uncivil Wrongs: Black American Song Deals with Racism

Prof. Steven Tracy (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Steven C. Tracy is Distinguished University Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst. Tracy, who has written, edited, co-edited, of provided introductions for 30 books, is author of Langston Hughes and the Blues (U of Illinois Press 1988), Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City (U of Illinois P, 1993), A Brush with the Blues (1997), and Hot Music, Ragmentation, and the Bluing of American Literature (University of Alabama Press, 2015). He also served as general co-editor of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes (U of Missouri P, 2001-2004) and editor of Write Me a Few of Your Lines: A Blues Reader (UMass P, 1999), Langston Hughes: Works for Children and Young Adults (U of Missouri P, 2001), A Historical Guide to Langston Hughes (Oxford UP, 2004), A Historical Guide to Ralph Ellison (Oxford UP, 2004), After Winter: The Life and Work of Sterling A. Brown (with John Edgar Tidwell Oxford UP, 2009), and Black Writers of the Chicago Renaissance (University of Illinois Press, 2012). Tracy provided the introduction for Howard W. Odum’s novels Rainbow Round My Shoulder (Indiana University Press, 2006) and Wings On My Feet, and for Roark Bradford’s John Henry (Oxford UP 2008). A Chinese translation of Tracy’s first book, Langston Hughes and the Blues, will be published by Wuhan University Press, 2016. His second book, Going to Cincinnati, was awarded the ARSC Award for a work on jazz, blues, or gospel music, and is listed as an essential book in 100 Books That Every Blues Lover Should Own, along with Write Me a Few of Your Lines, which is listed in the essential reference works.

A singer and harmonica player, Tracy has recorded with his own band, Pigmeat Jarrett, Big Joe Duskin, and Albert Washington, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and opened for B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, James Cotton, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, and many others. While a senior at Walnut Hills High School, Steve won a national harmonica championship for ages 13-18 that put him as a guest on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, initiating his career as a performer. He also appeared locally on a number of variety shows, including Nick Clooney’s (George’s father) and Bob Braun’s, taking along Cincinnati bluesmen when possible. Tracy toured the Netherlands with Steve Tracy and the Crawling Kingsnakes following the release of the CD Going to Cincinnati, performing also in the UK, France, China, and via teleconference to Israel.

Steven Tracy’s lecture will present a variety of Civil Rights songs dealing with the response to racism from the 1920s to the 1960s.

For more information on Prof. Tracy, please click here.

The talk is a Webex online event and will take place on Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend – just follow this link to join the lecture.

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Erik Redling