The Progressive »» Returning the Banjo to Its Black Roots : The Carolina Chocolate Drops

5 05 2010

Check out my article about all-black folk band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, featured in the May issue of The Progressive! The article hits shelves and mailboxes nationwide this month.

Here’s a tiny sneak peek:

Cover of The Progressive Magazine: May 2010 (Volume 74, Number 5)

The Progressive Magazine: May 2010 (Volume 74, Number 5)


When most Americans think of the banjo, images from The Beverly Hillbillies and Deliverance spring to mind. But the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African American string band based in Durham, North Carolina, hopes to remind people that the banjo was originally an African instrument. The group shares its lively piece of black musical history with the world with its latest album, Genuine Negro Jig.

Audiences aren’t used to seeing black musicians playing folk music, but band member Dom Flemons is quick to point out that…


I don’t know if they carry The Progressive in too many supermarkets. But you should be able to find a copy at your local bookstore or newsstand. (I picked up a few extra copies at the Barnes and Nobles at Newport on the Levee.) Or you could find it at the library, if you can’t spare the four bucks.

Now don’t get me wrong — I love when my writing is published online, too. But it feels surprisingly good to know something I wrote is physically sitting on shelves all over the country. There’s kind of a magical quality to actually holding something with my byline inked on the paper.

The power…! *maniacal super-villain laughter* The power…!




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