GRE Reading Comprehension: JiJing 352-GRE阅读机经352篇 - 7EQTU6Q520VDWB77K

According to historian Robin D. G. Kelley, Brian Ward's Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations (1998) is an invaluable resource: an encyclopedic history of early rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and soul music, set in the context of the American Civil, Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. By rejecting simple narratives of "White" co-optation of "Black" music on the one hand, and the more romantic interpretation of popular music after the Second World War as a confluence of interracial harmony and oppositional politics on the other, Kelley argues, Just My Soul offers a rich and complex picture of race and popular music in the postwar United States. Although the Civil Rights movement is at the heart of Just My Soul, Kelley notes that Ward defines that movement too narrowly as the "big three" of the modern Civil Rights movement in the southern United States: the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership conference (SCLC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The Movement does not merely exist as context or background to the music's history; rather, Ward argues that it reflected and profoundly shaped popular music. For example, he takes issue with critics who saw the adoption of "white" pop styles in early rock and roll as a watering down of an "authentic" sound by demonstrating that black consumers, like whites, also went for the "sweeter" pop stylings of the Platters, Brook Benton, and various female vocal groups. For Ward, black interest in these as well as white artists covering black rock and roll tunes reflected "a mood of rising optimism about the possibility of black integration into a genuinely egalitarian, pluralistic America". In the face of white resistance to Civil Rights, he suggests that black optimism began to wane, thus driving them to the more "nationalistic sounds of soul" and funk. Ward extends his argument about how dreams of integration might have transformed African American culture to the realm of gender. Locating an ideology and culture of misogyny in the blues as well as in real life, which he demonstrates by citing a range of statistics and sociological studies, Ward sees a potential crack in the armor of black macho emerging with 1950s' Rhythm and blues. The Movement and the influence of white middle-class values on a black community presumably anxious to integrate chipped away at an entrenched misogyny, giving birth to musical articulations of black male vulnerability and valorization of marriage and stable family life. As Ward puts it, as a result of the "dissemination of white middle-class codes of behaviour" after World War II, "black women increasingly internalized mainstream models of domesticity and womanhood". However, this potentially progressive vision of gender was destroyed by white resistance to integration and gave way to Black Power-influenced Soul, which ushered in a new trend of masculinist, hateful, humorless misogyny. Of course, he finds a few smatterings of "less sexist" representations that reveal more mainstream notions of romance (not to mention a veneration of mothers and prostitutes!) and he ends his discussion of gender with an all-too-brief exploration of black women soul singers (sans Roberta Flack!) who sometimes challenged, sometimes reinforced black male sexism and gender inequality.