My Book Recommendation

Book Cover

Each of the 50 biographical sketches is five to six paragraphs long, covers the entire life span of the subject, and includes an epigraphic quote attributed to the singer in question. The revelatory and uplifting narratives span many musical genres, including soul, jazz, hip-hop, rap, reggae, punk rock, electronic music, and more. Altogether, they cover 87 years of music history—the singers’ birth dates range from 1894 to 1981—and illuminate the profound impact Black women have made on social, political, and spiritual life through the power of their voices. While most of the women profiled are African American, a few—like Jamaican reggae chanteuse Rita Marley and Beninese singer/songwriter Angélique Kidjo—represent the wider African diaspora. Signature songs and classic, empowering anthems are analyzed, and Elizabeth provides insight into the personal struggles and societal barriers these divas and doyennes of sound overcame on their journeys to success and self-fulfillment. The brightly hued, minimalist digital illustrations feature bold, three-quarter portraits of the melodists that capture their distinct fashion styles and personalities. The backmatter includes a glossary of music terminology and an index.

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