Richard Brent Turner, "Soundtrack to a Movement: African American Islam, Jazz, and Black Internationalism" (NYU Press, 2021)
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In his fascinating and riveting new book Soundtrack to a Movement: African American Islam, Jazz, and Black Internationalism (NYU Press, 2021), historian Richard Brent Turner tells a moving though rarely discussed narrative of the intersection and cross-pollination between Jazz and African American Islam from the 1940s to the 1970s. How did Islam and conversion to Islam inform the lives, careers, and musical productions of prominent jazz musicians in this period? And how did jazz spaces and culture provide the fodder for important African American Muslim movements and figures, such as the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X? Turner addresses these and other questions with profound historical depth and analytical ingenuity. Over the course of this book, the reader learns about such enormously interesting themes as the landscape of African American politics during the interwar period and beyond in major Northeastern cities (especially Boston), the intimate relationship between Jazz and the Ahmadiyya, the relationship between John Coltrane and Malcolm X, and the encounter of Jazz with Black internationalism. This lucidly written book will also animate great discussions in the classroom.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listener feedback is most welcome.
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