Somewhere toward the end of the 19th Century, white America began to turn an interested ear toward the spiritual music of African Americans.
This new acceptance of African-American music as something other than unintelligible noise marked the beginning of recognition by mainstream America of its minority cultures, says Jon Cruz, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Cruz examines the significance of this phenomena in his recently published book Culture on the Margins: The Black Spiritual and the Rise of American Cultural Interpretation (Princeton University Press).
Cruz will talk about his book and sign copies at an event celebrating his work at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21 at the McCune Conference Room in UCSB's Humanities and Social Building.
Published this past June, the book earned an enthusiastic review from Elizabeth Long, a professor of sociology at Rice University.
Long called Culture on the Margins "a splendid and important book that clearly establishes Jon Cruz as one of the most significant cultural sociologists of his generation."