Literary Studies, Historical Studies and Black Music Inquiry essay sample

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The author presents an argument that the common aspects of black experience can be perceived, studied and evaluated in black music and these black experiences interrelate with black literature and history. The hypothesis of the author is that the foundations of the various styles of black music were laid by the common stylistic elements originating from the ‘ring shout’, the religious ritual coming from the African continent.

As argued by the author, the “shout was central to the cultural convergence of African traditions in Afro-America” when religious rituals “were expressed through song, dance, and communication with the ancestors”.The author used a descriptive methodology of the research studying the works of various black scholars in the field of English literature and history applying the reading to his hypothesis. All the evidence was used from the works of black scholars and the heritage of black music in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Thus, it can be stated that the case study approach was also used in the research paper of Samuel Floyd.The author used the works in history by Sterling Stuckey, Mary Berry and John Blassingame; as well as works in literary criticism by Houston Baker and Henry Lois Gates. The author argued that these historians and literary scholars have identified the literary tradition and developed specific strategies for studying that tradition on the material of black culture.

This article provides evidence about the developed authentic cultural roots of the African-Americans, which can serve for the cultural self-identification of these people, which is very important. The identified common feature of all the cultural manifestations of black people can signify about their cultural commonality. This can be used to restore the cultural foundations of African-Americans and develop them.

More specifically, this article will help students in the field of music recognize, assess and interpret idiomatic tropes of black approach to music making.The author demonstrated a well-argued support of his ideas and provided the reader with the evidence of past researchers applying them to the actual case studies related to the legacy of the black musicians. This approach was efficient in proving the hypothesis.


Floyd, Samuel A. 'Ring Shout! Literary Studies, Historical Studies, And Black Music Inquiry'. Black Music Research Journal 11, no. 2 (1991): …

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