Obama Music

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Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, London-based author and playwright Bonnie Greer seeks to demonstrate that Barack Obama's Presidency is what she calls a "South Side Presidency." And that it is only the South Side of Chicago, with its history and culture and institutions, that could have sent an African American, in this day and age, to the White House. Obama Music is a mixture of anecdotes about her own growing up in one of America's most formidable Black communities, mixed in with observations on the origins and progress of the music of the South Side: gospel, blues, soul, and jazz, and Barack and Michelle Obama's relation to the sound of their community. All of this is woven in with history ranging from the Great Migration at the end of World War I, to the end of the 60's, an era Obama himself has stated that he feels close to. This is not a conventional history book, nor a reporter-on-the campaign-trail account. Obama Music is one African American woman's account of watching, from the other side of the ocean, history being made, a history rooted in the community of her birth, right in her own home town. Small, opinionated, personal, anecdotal, and full of music and insights, this book can sit alongside the more heavyweight tomes as a footnote to the phenomenon that is Obama Music.


Bonnie Greer has won the Verity Bargate and has been a judge on many prizes, including the Orange Prize for Fiction. She regularly contributes articles to the Guardian, Independent , Marie Claire, and Telegraph, as well as appearing for comment on TV and radio.