Sharecropper's Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition (Palgrave Studies in Oral History)

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9780230111288: Sharecropper's Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, and the African American Song Tradition (Palgrave Studies in Oral History)
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Folk singer and labor organizer John Handcox was born to illiterate sharecroppers, but went on to become one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement. This beautifully told oral history gives us Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition.

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About the Author:

Michael Honey is the Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities at The University of Washington, USA, and was a 2011 Guggenheim fellow. He is author of numerous award-winning books on labor, race relations, and Southern history, including Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (Norton, 2007). His interviews and writing regularly appear in national media such as The Atlantic, NPR/Fresh Air, The Nation, History News Network, ColorLines, and many other print and digital publications.

Review:

'John's story will not be forgotten, now that Michael Honey has got it down on paper. As long as human beings like to sing...I believe his songs will live on. In that sense, John will never die.' - Pete Seeger, from the Foreword

"A deeply moving account of the life and struggles of John Handcox who became known as 'the sharecropper's troubadour' for the songs he wrote and sang at union meetings in Arkansas, Mississippi, and throughout the nation. Honey's book is essential reading to understand the history of labor and black music in the rural south." - William Ferris, author of The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

"John L. Handcox, the unsung radical guitar-strumming storyteller, has finally found the person to tell his story. Michael Honey not only paints a lyrical portrait of Handcox but delivers a powerful history of a people, a movement, and a culture that birthed the Freedom Songs of the modern era." - Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

"An arresting account of the exemplary life of an American genius. Honey's and Handcox's voices mix in a unique combination of oral history and scholarly research that reminds us of the centrality of music, and of poetry, to US freedom movements." - David Roediger, co-author of The Production of Difference

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9780230111271: Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union, and the African American Song Tradition (Palgrave Studies in Oral History)

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