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June2, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 15

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Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans

By Richard Brent Turner *86
Posted on June 2, 2010

(Indiana University Press) The author explores the history and significance of the religious traditions, identities, and performance forms celebrated in the second lines of jazz street parades in black New Orleans. He argues that participants in the second line — the group of dancers who follow the first procession of church and club members, brass bands, and grand marshals — create their own social space and become proficient in the arts of political disguise, resistance, and performance. Exploring the relationship of jazz to indigenous religion and spirituality, he examines the multicultural African diasporic spiritual world through the lens of New Orleans jazz and popular religious performances. Turner is a professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Islam in the African-American Experience .

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