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"Life Gets Heavy": Blues Tourism in Clarksdale, Mississippi

"Life Gets Heavy": Blues Tourism in Clarksdale, Mississippi <p>Abstract:</p><p>This essay analyzes the historical roots and current dynamics of Clarksdale, Mississippi’s, music tourism efforts. Clarksdale is located in the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region of the poorest state in U.S.; however, it has an uncommonly rich blues music history, with such major figures are Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, and many others hailing from Clarksdale. Although African American music was ignored by Clarksdale’s white elite for most of its history, recently the city’s economic and politically powerful citizens have started Clarksdale’s blues tourism efforts as a means of economic stimulus and civic pride. The commodification of a traditionally African American music by whites in Mississippi is an opportunity to examine the intertwined dynamics of race, memory, and music. These dynamics are relevant to discussions and critiques of cultural commodification globally. </p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

"Life Gets Heavy": Blues Tourism in Clarksdale, Mississippi

Southern Cultures , Volume 24 (2) – Jul 13, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This essay analyzes the historical roots and current dynamics of Clarksdale, Mississippi’s, music tourism efforts. Clarksdale is located in the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region of the poorest state in U.S.; however, it has an uncommonly rich blues music history, with such major figures are Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, and many others hailing from Clarksdale. Although African American music was ignored by Clarksdale’s white elite for most of its history, recently the city’s economic and politically powerful citizens have started Clarksdale’s blues tourism efforts as a means of economic stimulus and civic pride. The commodification of a traditionally African American music by whites in Mississippi is an opportunity to examine the intertwined dynamics of race, memory, and music. These dynamics are relevant to discussions and critiques of cultural commodification globally. </p>

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jul 13, 2018

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