"What I Learned On Jefferson Street: The Intersection of Race, Class, Community, & Music on Jefferson Street in Nashville, Tennessee, 1860-1960"

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Reid, Brandon Alexander
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Middle Tennessee State University
Research on the African American history of Nashville, Tennessee has primarily focused on the intersection of race and class between Blacks and Whites within the city. Whilst this focus has provided an understanding of the ambiguity of the relationship between the two, it has not accounted for the role music played in the city’s development. The aim of this project was to determine how Black Nashvillians utilized music to create a new intellectual and cultural identity following enslavement. To achieve this, university archives, newspapers, and literature written on Black Nashville were utilized alongside examining various songs created within the city to interweave music into the historical narrative of African American racial advancement. This project demonstrates that understanding the myriad of ways through which Black Nashvillians understood, resisted, and interacted with their surroundings must be done through examining how advancements in Black music culture bolstered their efforts for freedom and progress.
African American, African American Music, Black Nashville, Jefferson Street, North Nashville, African American studies, Music history