"Anthem succeeds in foregrounding the significance of music as an oral tradition, and its ability to move people who may not be literate in the written word. Redmond ably traces music’s elemental power to move humans, and how it connects people to ideas, movements, and other activists. In general, the book succeeds admirably in making readers think about these songs in new ways.”
—American Historical Review
"Anthem is an impressively rich analysis of the songs that gave rise to and developed out of the fraught history of diasporic political movements. Redmond's blend of musicology, political history, and social engagements establishes the anthem as a densely layered text, one that invites close reading but whose ultimate meaning can only be understood in the context of its reconstructed sociopolitical moment."
"In this important book, Redmond illuminates the ways that songs function as 'political acts of performance' . . . . Listen to the music as you read to appreciate even further this deeply intelligent, innovative, richly interdisciplinary, and thought-provoking book."
—The Journal of American History
“Anthem is truly a tour de force. Deeply-researched, brilliantly conceived, and beautifully written, the book reveals how ‘anthems’ register both a collective sense of history and a vision of the future for aggrieved groups—not just people of African-descent. Anthem will stand as the model for transnational scholarship for years to come.”
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times
"An extraordinary, innovative and generative book. Shana Redmond reveals how musical anthems served as powerful sources of inspiration and as crucial mechanisms for social mobilization in twentieth century Black freedom struggles around the world. She presents fascinating portraits of individual performer-activists including Paul Robeson, Miriam Makeba, and Nina Simone, while delineating the largely unknown social histories of significant songs such as "Lift Every Voice and Sing," "Old Man River," "We Shall Overcome," and "Nkosi Sikilel' iAfrika." More than any previous scholar, Redmond shows how musical practices and performances enabled people of African origin all around the world to establish themselves as an aggrieved and insurgent people struggling for freedom and justice."
—George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place
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