In December of 1984, a young Mark Anthony Neal read a book that jumpstarted his political and cultural awakening, Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions by Haki Madhubuti. The book’s honest discussion of Black culture and the relationships between Black men and Black women laid a foundation for inquiries that have guided his journey since. In response to a variety of different questions from us, Dr. Neal slowly unveils the constellation of people, music, and events that shaped him into the writer, scholar, man, husband, and father he is today. We talk about the evolving image of Black masculinity, his most amazing concert experiences, and what he predicts for the future of Black music as a music historian. Dr. Neal is a walking library and record store and will probably put you on to a writer or musician you’ve never heard of before, so this is not an episode to miss!
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