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Azizi Alan Lomax Archive going online (67* d) RE: Alan Lomax Archive going online 07 Feb 12

I just published a post on my cultural blog about John W. Work III.

That post consists of several excerpts from online articles including this one from "John Work III: The Man the Blues Forgot" by Joe Kloc

"John Work III, born in 1901 in Tullahoma Tennessee, was a folklorist at Fisk University for almost 40 years. He attended Julliard and held music degrees from Yale and Columbia. According to music writer Dave Marsh, Work was Lomax's partner and guide in the early 1940s. He led Lomax first to Son House and later to Muddy Waters, where Lomax recorded part of what would later be released as Down on Stovall's Plantation. "Lomax never credited Work, but recent research has established him as at least Lomax's equal in the study"...


My post ends with this editorial comment:

In this supposedly post-racial United States, it says a lot that Alan Lomax usually receives accolades for his Delta Blues collection activities without any mention of his joint collaboration with African American composer, ethnomusicologist, collector, and educator John W. Work III.

I consider it to be very troubling that Alan Lomax never credited John W. Work III, his African American partner and guide in the collection of Delta Blues in the early 1940s.

This failure to credit the collection work of African American John W. Work III reinforces the idea that only White people collected African American music from the South.

Which collector's work gets mainstream funding and public recognition determines what and how we think of the music that is collected. That funding and public recognition also determines what and how we think about the people who make the music that is collected.

Let's give John W. Work III the recognition and accolades he so very much deserves!

-Azizi Powell

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