• Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race

    Pages: 336
    Illustrations: 39 b&w illus.
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $99.95 - In Stock
  • Paperback: $26.95 - In Stock
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments ix

    1. Reclaiming the Right to Rock 1

    2. The “Postliberated Generation” 33

    3. Saturday Go to Meeting 59

    4. Black Rock Manifesting 86

    5. Black Rock Aesthetics 113

    6. Living Colored in the Music Industry 142

    7. Media Interventions 176

    8. Playing Rock, Playing Roles 204

    9. Jimi Hendrix Experiences 231

    10. Until the Levee Breaks 257

    Discography 267

    Notes 273

    Bibliography 285

    Index 299
  • “In clear, concise, and immensely readable prose, Right to Rock asks important—often uncomfortable but always necessary—questions about the power and limits of racially identified aesthetics in social, artistic, political, and economic contexts. In looking at the triumphs and struggles of rock ’n’ roll bands such as Screaming Headless Torsos, Bad Brains, Living Colour, and Fishbone, Maureen Mahon opens a window on to an American music and culture that has historically sought to disenfranchise, marginalize, and even deny the existence of the vital contributions of African American musical artists from Blind Tom to Me’Shell NdegéOcello. Anyone seeking to understand the ideas behind ‘Black Rock’—whether one hears that phrase as divisive or inclusive—would do well to pick up a copy of Right to Rock and read it.”—Vernon Reid, guitarist, founder of the band Living Colour, and cofounder of the Black Rock Coalition — N/A

    “Maureen Mahon’s Right to Rock presents a fascinating description of the meaning of rock music for black artists and audiences. Devoted to a form of commercialized leisure for which they are not the target demographic, these committed musicians and listeners write themselves into a story from which they have largely been excluded. Important as a study of a fascinating cultural practice, Right to Rock also makes indispensable contributions to our understanding of larger issues about both the fixity and the fluidity of market categories and social identities.”—George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger — N/A

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    The original architects of rock ’n’ roll were black musicians including Little Richard, Etta James, and Chuck Berry. Jimi Hendrix electrified rock with his explosive guitar in the late 1960s. Yet by the 1980s, rock music produced by African Americans no longer seemed to be “authentically black.” Particularly within the music industry, the prevailing view was that no one—not black audiences, not white audiences, and not black musicians—had an interest in black rock. In 1985 New York-based black musicians and writers formed the Black Rock Coalition (brc) to challenge that notion and create outlets for black rock music. A second branch of the coalition started in Los Angeles in 1989. Under the auspices of the brc, musicians organized performances and produced recordings and radio and television shows featuring black rock. The first book to focus on the brc, Right to Rock is, like the coalition itself, about the connections between race and music, identity and authenticity, art and politics, and power and change. Maureen Mahon observed and participated in brc activities in New York and Los Angeles, and she conducted interviews with more than two dozen brc members. In Right to Rock she offers an in-depth account of how, for nearly twenty years, members of the brc have broadened understandings of black identity and black culture through rock music.

    About The Author(s)

    Maureen Mahon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the African American Studies Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Explore More

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.

Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu