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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " EILEEN SOUTHERN " WAS A MUSICOLOGIST, RESEARCHER, AUTHOR AND TEACHER : GOES INTO THE " GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

            BLACK   SOUTH  HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                        


















Eileen Southern


Eileen Southern
Eileen Southern.jpg
Born1920
MinneapolisMinnesota
DiedOctober 13, 2002
Port Charlotte, Florida
OccupationMusicologist
Eileen Jackson Southern (1920 – October 13, 2002) was an African-American musicologist, researcher, author and teacher.

Early life

She attended public schools in her hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to music scholar Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., "In childhood, as she developed as a pianist, young Eileen was introduced to and became partial to the music of those she calls the 'piano composers,' including Johann Sebastian BachLudwig van Beethoven, and Claude Debussy. In addition, her piano teachers, mostly white, were concerned that she would know music by black composers and introduced her to R. Nathaniel Dett's In the Bottoms, among other such compositions."[1]
Southern majored in commercial art at Chicago's Lindblom High School. During the same period she won piano-performance and essay competitions, taught piano lessons, and directed musical activities at the Lincoln Community Center. She gave her first piano recital at the age of twelve and made her debut in Chicago Orchestra Hall at age eighteen, playing a Mozart concerto with thesymphony orchestra of the Chicago Musical College.
She attended and received degrees from the University of Chicago (B.A., 1940, and M. A., 1941) and New York University (Ph.D., 1961). Her relationship with Cecil Smithencouraged her to further develop her interest in Negro folk music and he advised for her master's thesis. Southern also studied piano privately at Chicago Musical College, theJuilliard School of Music, and Boston University.

Career

She was the first black woman to be appointed a tenured full professor at Harvard University. Her best-known book is the seminal history The Music of Black Americans (1971). Her other work is Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians (1982). She founded The Black Perspective in Music in 1973, with her husband, Prof. Joseph Southern. It was the first musicological journal on the study of black music, and she was its editor until it ceased publication in 1990.
She also discovered Frank Johnson, a black Philadelphia bandleader who'd risen to fame at the end of the 18th century. He'd led Frank Johnson's Colored Band and by 1818 had taken his band as far south as Richmond, Virginia, playing dances for white southerners. Johnson had played a command performance at Buckingham Palace, where he received a silver bugle in appreciation.
She headed the Department of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University from 1975 to 1979, and retired in 1987 as a professor emeritus to live in St. Albans, New York.

Awards

Dr. Southern received a National Humanities Medal in 2001 for having "helped transform the study and understanding of American music." She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for American Music in 2000. Her portrait, by artist Stephen E. Coit was commissioned by the Harvard Foundation at Harvard University.

Selected publications