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about Craig Werner's, "A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America"

  • An ambitious and comprehensive look at the deep connection between race and music in America, Werner’s book is filled with provocative insights....Werner is enlightening without being overwhelming....In America, where most people live in spaces rigidly defined by race and ethnicity, Werner shows how music still has the power to bring people together
    --Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
  • A Change Is Gonna Come positively fizzes with the excitement of discovery on every page....Reading this book is the equivalent of giving your record collection the biggest upgrade of its life, but for a fraction of the cost. Suddenly you start to hear songs in a completely different way, to make connections between them that had never been apparent before and to entirely reassess your thinking.
    -- Mojo
  • He may be a professor of Afro-American history, but Craig Werner’s approach to blak American music is anything but academic...Essential reading for anyone interested in reading, writing about, or listening to music in the new century.
    --Gavin Martin, Uncut
  • Sweeping in its scope and meticulous in its detail....essential reading for anyone who shares its author’s passiongs, musical and otherwise.
    --Keith Phipps, The Onion
  • This is a book which is sure to earn its spot on the shelf with the best of recent musical history.
    --Wiiliam Jelani Cobb, Emerge
  • With his heartfelt consideration of black music, Werner has written a racial study every bit as profound as any civil rights declaration.
    --Burhan Wazir, The Observor (London)
  • No one has written this way about music in a long, long time. Lucid, insightful, with real spiritual, political, intellectual, and emotional grasp of the whole picture.
    --Dave Marsh
  • This book is urgently needed: a comprehensive look at the various forms of black popular music, both as music and as seen in a larger social context. No one can do this better than Craig Werner
    --Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • This intimate awareness of how and why music informs and shapes our consciousness of history and society in terms over the meaning of the categories of race, class and gender gives Werner’s work an intellectual and emotional depth often missing in contemporary discussions of what American music is as art, science and social/spiritual force. As both readers and lovers of music in all of its dimensions, we owe Craig Werner a great debt for writing about its mysteries and realities with the passion, clarity and knowledge, that the music so richly deserves.
    --Kofi Natambu, African American Review
  • A Change Is Gonna Come arrives as a revelation. In our irony-armored, largely apolitical times, it’s genuinely inspiring to discover sometone writing about music with such conviction.
    --David Cantwell, No Depression
  • A Change Is Gonna Come kept reminding me of a great coming-of-age novel, and really, that’s what this is—a brilliant coming-of-age novel of that complex character America, told in those diverse, loud, beautiful, angry and powerful voices of black musicians.
    --Dean Bakapoulous, Bookbeat

Discover great READS, LISTENING & FILMS recommended by Craig Werner

To stir the senses and awaken the heart, mind and soul!


is Craig Werner?

I’m a writer and teacher based in Madison, Wisconsin, where I
teach in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of
Wisconsin. I believe deeply that education—especially the kind that
takes places outside the walls of the classroom—is the key to a healthy
democratic society.

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Nurturing conversations that cross the lines that keep us from telling the truth.