Richard Brent Turner is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the African American Studies Program at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Soundtrack to a Movement: African American Islam, Jazz, and Black Internationalism (NYU Press).
Soundtrack to a Movement examines the link between the revolutionary Black Islam of the post-WWII generation and jazz music. In the book, Dr. Turner argues that from the late 1940s and '50s though the 1970s, Islam rose in prominence among African Americans in part because of the embrace of the religion among jazz musicians. He demonstrates that the values that Islam and jazz sharedBlack affirmation, freedom, and self-determinationwere key to the growth of African American Islamic communities, and that it was jazz musicians who led the way in shaping encounters with Islam as they developed a Black Atlantic "cool" that shaped both Black religion and jazz styles.
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