There was something about the music that evening, at a party in her honor, that immediately captured Bessie Smith’s attention. As she entered the party with a few of her girlfriends, Smith remarked in classic fashion, “The funk is flyin’.”
Tony Bolden teaches courses on African-American music and culture at the University of Kansas. His first book Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture (2004) examined interrelationships between blues, jazz, and black poetic styles. Bolden’s collection of essays The Funk Era and Beyond: New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture was published in 2008, and he recently guest-edited “The Funk Issue,” a special issue of American Studies.
Posts by Anthony Bolden
“The Common Reader,” Washington University in St. Louis’s Journal of the Essay, explores life and learning during the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.