Warehouse: Songs and Stories

Baltimore City Paper has a profile of Robert Catalionni, a professor of African American literature at Coppin State University. Catalionni worked on a new disc for Smithsonian Folkways, On My Journey: Paul Robeson‘s Independent Recordings. He’s also the author of what sounds like a fascinating read, The Songs Became the Stories: The Music in African-American Fiction, 1970-2005, which came out in November on Peter Lang Publishing.

Cataliotti also demonstrates astonishing depth of knowledge not just about well-known black writers such as Alice Walker and Toni Morrison; he is just as adept at analyzing Ishmael Reed and John Edgar Wideman. The Songs Became the Stories also includes a discography of recommended artists that includes everyone from Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Jelly Roll Morton, and Sun Ra to Alberta Hunter, Mahalia Jackson, Abbey Lincoln, Public Enemy, and Jill Scott.

Reed and Wideman are “well-known black writers” too. But still.