What's the Use of Walking If There's a Freight Train Going Your Way?: Black Hoboes & Their Songs

What's the Use of Walking If There's a Freight Train Going Your Way?: Black Hoboes & Their Songs

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Author/Contributor(s): Garon, Paul ; Tomko, Gene
Publisher: Charles Kerr
Date: 10/01/2015
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

In this exciting new book, Paul Garon ‰ÛÓ celebrated author of The Devil's Son-In-Law: Peetie Wheatstraw and His Songs; Blues and the Poetic Spirit; and with Beth Garon, Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues ‰ÛÓ tells the story of African American migratory workers and the songs they sang: at work, in boxcars and hobo jungles, in jail, in country roadhouses and urban nightspots. Focused on the years 1910-1940, Garon's narrative and the powerful lyrics of 100-plus songs relate in detail the Black hobo experience with racism and other injustice as well as with jobs as varied as turpentining, track-laying, circus work, lumber, agriculture and mining. Here, too, are fascinating digressions on Black Wobblies, Southern Tenant Farmers' Union organizers, and the hobohemian counterculture. This invaluable study comes with a 25-track CD.

‰ÛÏThe music and poetry of black workers in motion - hoboing, hitchhiking, timbering, mining, railroading, loving, leaving, fighting back and searching for a new job, a new life and even a new world are brilliantly recorded and explained in this arresting collection.‰۝
- David Roediger

‰ÛÏPaul Garon has produced yet another masterpiece of cultural history. The stories and songs he gathers together in this remarkable book disrupt common notions of what we mean by 'freedom' when it comes to black folk. Hoboes represented a significant segment of the black working class, and their constant movements were both evidence of constraints and acts of freedom. And as he so eloquently demonstrates, the men and women who took to the road and their bards have much to teach us about America's ‰Û÷bottom rail.‰۪‰۝
- Robin D G Kelley