Sound Off! // Comment Klatsch #18: Sounds of Freedom

Sounding Off2klatsch \KLAHCH\ , noun: A casual gathering of people, esp. for refreshments and informal conversation  [German Klatsch, from klatschento gossip, make a sharp noiseof imitative origin.] (

Dear Readers:  ¡Regina Bradley, Presente! —J. Stoever-Ackerman, Editor-in-Chief

 In honor of the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, which sounds remind you of the Freedom Struggle today? 

Comment Klatsch logo courtesy of The Infatuated on Flickr.


About these ads

Tags: , , ,

About rnbradley

Regina N. Bradley, Ph.D is an instructor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University. She earned her doctorate in African American Literature from Florida State University, a masters in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University Bloomington, and a bachelors degree in English from Albany State University (GA). Regina writes about post-Civil Rights African American literature, the contemporary U.S. South, pop culture, race and sound, and Hip Hop. Her current book project explores how critical hip hop (culture) sensibilities can be used to navigate race and identity politics in this supposedly postracial moment of American history. Also known as Red Clay Scholar, a nod to her Georgia upbringing, Regina maintains a critically acclaimed blog and personal website –

7 responses to “Sound Off! // Comment Klatsch #18: Sounds of Freedom”

  1. reina prado says :

    i’m SO going to use this prompt in my Race & Gender course and Racial Minorities in the US.

  2. Brittany Manson says :

    Sounds of Blackness “Optimisitic” was the first song I thought of when presented with this question. It definitely gives off a “freedom” vibe to me when I hear it.

  3. j.l. stoever says :

    Also Shana Redmond’s work would definitely be helpful. . .I wonder if we can ask her for her thoughts. . .

    Her new book: Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora

    • Shana Redmond says :

      The question encourages me to reflect on the songs that I hear today that remind me of that great mobilization in 1964 but also lends itself to thinking through “Freedom Struggle today”–those sounds that highlight contemporary mobilizations.

      I’ve been thinking recently about the Freedom Schools; one contemporary song reflective of the spirit of the ’64 pedagogical rebellion is Lupe Fiasco’s “Dumb it Down” (2008)

      Jasiri X is one of the folks most publicly engaged with contemporary political movements and revolts, from Palestine to Florida. His “Strange Fruit (Class of 2013)” brings into conversation a series of murders reflective of ongoing Black U.S. vulnerabilities. It does a certain work, alongside Fiasco, to reinvent what Black music is by insisting on what it does.

  4. j.l. stoever says :

    Your question makes me think of Martha Vandella’s “Dancing in the Streets” and the way it operated as an affective anthem and shared pop music experience important to the uprisings of 1965–even though not explicitly “political” in the traditional sense of an audio verite represention of struggle via lyrics. It operated sonically and also by signifyin(g). Can you think of songs that operate in this fashion now?

    • rnbradley says :

      I think that’s important too is that music and sound are fluid enough spaces that definitions can be messy. I’m thinking Big K.R.I.T.’s Mt Olympus updates the struggle discourse but uh…I’m biased.

  5. rnbradley says :

    I’m grappling with this question in my own work these last few months. I think it’s important that sound can be utilized to complicate/fracture the meaning of freedom in the 21st century, especially in the south. The south is rarely viewed or considered a “free” space for folks of color even after the Civil Rights Movement. I’m interested in the way freedom struggles manifest in the south today, especially in hip hop. One of my favorite examples is by Goodie Mob, “Free.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: