1 Jones, Blues People, x.
2 Johnson, Book of American Negro Spirituals, 12.
3 Throughout this book I refer to “historicism” and “historicist” in two interrelated
ways: first, in reference to History as determined by modernity’s claims of immu-
table or naturalistic laws; and, second, as the historian’s proj ect to understand the
human agency necessary to the application or rendering of History as such. Ran-
jana Khanna’s study of the uses of psychoanalysis ethnographically and in terms
of its worlding is especially influential in this aspect of the book’s methodology, as
is Paul Gilroy’s commentary on historicality in reference to the diferentiating of
people temporally and racially. See Khanna, Dark Continents; and Gilroy, Against
4 From the Asadata Dafora Papers, newspaper clippings, 1934–1962.
5 Jones, Blues People, x.
6 See Edwards, Practice of Diaspora, 7–15.
7 See Gilroy, Against Race, 54–58.
8 See Gilroy, Against Race, 31, 67. My use of the notion “un- raced” derives from
Judith Butler’s formulations of melancholy, unmarked bodies, and normativ-
ity wherein whiteness, along with heterosexuality and patriarchal masculinity,
becomes the race par excellence whose contingency (or “loss”) modernity cannot
grieve and thus necessitates and sustains the racialized Other. In fact, Butler
considers sexuality, gender, race, class, and other identificatory formulations as
forming the same “dynamic map of power in which identities are constituted
and/or erased, deployed and/or para lyzed” (Butler, Bodies That Matter, 117; see
also 170–171, 233–236). Although she considers sexism as the most widespread
form of oppression, tracing back to the family and home, bell hooks also sees the
interconnectedness of systems of oppression when she says “destroying the cul-
tural basis for [sexist] domination strengthens other liberation strug gles” against
racism and classism (hooks, Feminist Theory, 40–41).
9 It is impor tant to point out, too, that because the terms “Negro” or “negro”
used to describe and identify music and dance were specific to the historical