Color-Line and Crossing-Over

27,50 €
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Martin Lüthe

Color-Line and Crossing-Over. Motown and Performances of Blackness in 1960s American Culture

ISBN 978-3-86821-263-1, 230 S., kt., € 27,50 (2011)

(CAT - Cultures in America in Transition, Bd. 3)

The Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and other Motown artists recorded the soundtrack of the Sixties and reached an unprecedented commercial success in the decade. This success has often been perceived as the result of a whitening of black musical forms. In this study Luethe analyzes the complexities of Motown artists’ performances during the 1960s especially with regard to the staging of black physicality. Motown not only created the “sound of young America” but also provided the American middle class with a language, signs, and symbols related to the performances of black physicality. These performances simultaneously spoke to the notion and desires of white consumpti-on of blackness as well as the cultural aspirations of emerging black middle classes. Luethe de-monstrates how the musical performances by Motown artists also functioned as performances of the black body that thereby condensed the social and political realities of this period in the realm of po-pular culture.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)


"As Lüthe holds, Motown developed a set of body types that have significantly shaped American popular culture and resonate well beyond the 1960s. In this regard, his book might prove useful to readers interested in the Motown phenomenon and to those with an interest in American popular culture's negotiations of blackness and particularly black bodies."

Katharina Gerund, Anglistik – International Journal of English Studies 24.1 (2013)