In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas (Southwestern Writers Collection)

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9780292722897: In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas (Southwestern Writers Collection)
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The rich, complex lives of African Americans in Texas were often neglected by the mainstream media, which historically seldom ventured into Houston's Fourth Ward, San Antonio's East Side, South Dallas, or the black neighborhoods in smaller cities. When Bill Minutaglio began writing for Texas newspapers in the 1970s, few large publications had more than a token number of African American journalists, and they barely acknowledged the things of lasting importance to the African American community. Though hardly the most likely reporter—as a white, Italian American transplant from New York City—for the black Texas beat, Minutaglio was drawn to the African American heritage, seeking its soul in churches, on front porches, at juke joints, and anywhere else that people would allow him into their lives. His nationally award-winning writing offered many Americans their first deeper understanding of Texas's singular, complicated African American history.

This eclectic collection gathers the best of Minutaglio's writing about the soul of black Texas. He profiles individuals both unknown and famous, including blues legends Lightnin' Hopkins, Amos Milburn, Robert Shaw, and Dr. Hepcat. He looks at neglected, even intentionally hidden, communities. And he wades into the musical undercurrent that touches on African Americans' joys, longings, and frustrations, and the passing of generations. Minutaglio's stories offer an understanding of the sweeping evolution of music, race, and justice in Texas. Moved forward by the musical heartbeat of the blues and defined by the long shadow of racism, the stories measure how far Texas has come . . . or still has to go.

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About the Author:

BILL MINUTAGLIO is a Clinical Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include "First Son: George W. Bush & The Bush Family Dynasty"; "City on Fire: The Forgotten Disaster That Devastated a Town and Ignited a Landmark Legal Battle"; "The President's Counselor: The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales"; "Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life." His work has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Texas Monthly and The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists. Esquire featured excerpts from "City On Fire" in its listing ot the greatest tales of survival -- along with works by Ernest Heminway and others. Critics have compared Minutaglio's work to that of Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and Herman Melville. His work has been optioned by Tom Cruise, published in China and cited by Oliver Stone. The Texas Observer said "City On Fire" was one of the "finest books ever written about Texas." Minutaglio's work is featured in several anthologies, including "Merchants of Misery: How Corporate America Profits from Poverty"; "Literary Austin"; "Echoes of Texas Football."

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9780292722477: In Search of the Blues: A Journey to the Soul of Black Texas (Southwestern Writers Collection)

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ISBN 10:  0292722478 ISBN 13:  9780292722477
Publisher: University of Texas Press, 2010
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