Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States, Women on 2021-08-31 02:00Z by Steven

Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era

University Press of Mississippi
2022-01-17
224 pages
13 b&w illustrations and 13 musical examples
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496836687
Paperback ISBN: 9781496836793

Juanita Karpf, Lecturer of Music
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

A groundbreaking rediscovery of a classically trained innovator and powerful teacher who set milestones for African American singers and musicians

In Performing Racial Uplift: E. Azalia Hackley and African American Activism in the Postbellum to Pre-Harlem Era, Juanita Karpf rediscovers the career of Black activist E. Azalia Hackley (1867–1922), a concert artist, nationally famous music teacher, and charismatic lecturer. Growing up in Black Detroit, she began touring as a pianist and soprano soloist while only in her teens. By the late 1910s, she had toured coast-to-coast, earning glowing reviews. Her concert repertoire consisted of an innovative blend of spirituals, popular ballads, virtuosic showstoppers, and classical pieces. She also taught music while on tour and visited several hundred Black schools, churches, and communities during her career. She traveled overseas and, in London and Paris, studied singing with William Shakespeare and Jean de Reszke—two of the classical music world’s most renowned teachers.

Her acceptance into these famous studios confirmed her extraordinary musicianship, a “first” for an African American singer. She founded the Normal Vocal Institute in Chicago, the first music school founded by a Black performer to offer teacher training to aspiring African American musicians.

Hackley’s activist philosophy was unique. Unlike most activists of her era, she did not align herself unequivocally with either Booker T. Washington or W. E. B. Du Bois. Instead, she created her own mediatory philosophical approach. To carry out her agenda, she harnessed such strategies as giving music lessons to large audiences and delivering lectures on the ecumenical religious movement known as New Thought. In this book, Karpf reclaims Hackley’s legacy and details the talent, energy, determination, and unprecedented worldview she brought to the cause of racial uplift.

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The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2019-10-04 23:09Z by Steven

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

University of Nebraska Press
October 2019
320 pages
7 photos, 3 drawings, index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4962-0507-0

Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History
University of La Verne, Point Mugu, California

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862-1916

In The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862–1916, Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly examines generations of mixed-race African Americans after the Civil War and into the Progressive Era, skillfully tracking the rise of a leadership class in Black America made up largely of individuals who had complex racial ancestries, many of whom therefore enjoyed racial options to identity as either Black or White. Although these people might have chosen to pass as White to avoid the racial violence and exclusion associated with the dominant racial ideology of the time, they instead chose to identify as Black Americans, a decision which provided upward mobility in social, political, and economic terms.

Dineen-Wimberly highlights African American economic and political leaders and educators such as P. B. S. Pinchback, Theophile T. Allain, Booker T. Washington, and Frederick Douglass as well as women such as Josephine B. Willson Bruce and E. Azalia Hackley who were prominent clubwomen, lecturers, educators, and settlement house founders. In their quest for leadership within the African American community, these leaders drew on the concept of Blackness as a source of opportunities and power to transform their communities in the long struggle for Black equality.

The Allure of Blackness among Mixed-Race Americans, 1862–1916 confounds much of the conventional wisdom about racially complicated people and details the manner in which they chose their racial identity and ultimately overturns the “passing” trope that has dominated so much Americanist scholarship and social thought about the relationship between race and social and political transformation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. “As a Negro I will be Powerful”: The Leadership of P.B.S. Pinchback
  • Chapter 2. Post-Bellum Strategies to Retain Power and Status: From Political Appointments to Property Ownership
  • Chapter 3. New Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership: From Domestic Immigration to “The Consul’s Burden”
  • Chapter 4. “Lifting as We Climb”: The Other Side of Uplift
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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A Biography Of E. Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922), African-american Singer And Social Activist

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-08-06 00:29Z by Steven

A Biography Of E. Azalia Smith Hackley (1867-1922), African-american Singer And Social Activist

Edwin Mellen Press
2001
436 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7734-7575-5

Lisa Pertillar Brevard, Core Faculty and Academic Coordinator of Humanities
Walden University

Madame E. Azalia Hackley was an African American classical singer, social worker, writer, philanthropist, and activist who championed the use of African-American spirituals among the African-American people as a tool for social change. Her efforts laid the groundwork for the use of spirituals as freedom songs during the Civil Rights Movement. This work used newspaper accounts and archive studies documenting Madame Hackley’s tours cross-country and abroad to raise funds for African-American classical musicians. It show Hackley’s intense devotion to her African-American roots, as she easily could have passed for white. Nevertheless, she traveled throughout the South in ‘Jim Crow’ railway cars by choice. This work also recovers several of her influential published works, including A Guide to Voice Culture (1909); The Colored Girl Beautiful (1916), an etiquette book for African-American women desiring professional jobs; and “Hints to Young Colored Artists”, a series of articles designed to help young African-American classical musicians succeed. Includes illustrations.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Richard A. Long
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Madame Emma Azalia Smith Hackley: The Lady and Her Legacy
    • 1. Azalia’s Early Years (1867-1894)
    • 2. Denver (1894-1900)
    • 3. Philadelphia and The Washington Conservatory of Music (1900-1915)
    • 4. Jim Crow Cars and Beyond – Paris, London, Tokyo (1916-1920)
    • 5. Madame Hackley’s Last Days (1920-1922)
  • Part II: The Soul and Grit of a Colored Prima Donna: Madame E. Azalia Hackley as Journalist
    • “Hints to Young Colored Artists” (1914-15) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Part III: Lessons Before Dying: Madame Hackley’s The Colored Girl Beautiful
  • Part IV: A Scrapbook of Madame E. Azalia Hackley
    • Photographs
    • “Report on Scholarship for 1908” by E. Azalia Hackley
    • Correspondence Between E. Azalia Hackley and James Weldon Johnson
    • Advertisements
    • The New York Age Salutes Madame Hackley (Obituary by Lucien H. White, 1922)
  • Chronology
  • Appendix: A Guide in Voice Culture (1909) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Sheet Music: “Carola, A Serenade” (1918) by E. Azalia Hackley
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Photograph by Julius Taylor

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