The artists who navigated the intersection of music and politics
The marriage of music and social change didn’t originate with the movements for civil rights and Black Power in the 1950s and 1960s, but never before and never again was the relationship between the two so dynamic. In Keep On Pushing, author Denise Sullivan presents the voices of musician-activists from this pivotal era and the artists who followed in their footsteps to become the force behind contemporary liberation music. Joining authentic voices with a bittersweet narrative covering more than fifty years of fighting oppression through song, Keep On Pushing defines the soundtrack to revolution and the price the artists paid to create it. Exclusive interviews with Yoko Ono, Richie Havens, Len Chandler, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Michael Franti, Solomon Burke, Wayne Kramer, John Sinclair, Phranc, plus musician-activist Elaine Brown on the Black Panthers, Nina Simone collaborator Al Schackman, Penelope Houston and Debora Iyall on San Francisco punk rock, Ed Pearl on the L.A. folk scene and the Ash Grove, and other musical and political icons.
"A pleasing survey of soul music, from Lead Belly to Johnny Otis to Michael Franti to Louis Farrakhan . . . Sullivan offers a welcome exploration of how African-American popular music became America’s vernacular." —Kirkus Reviews
"Sullivan . . . combines impressive research and wide-ranging interviews in a multilayered narrative about the power of music within black liberation, civil rights, antiwar, and gender-related movements . . . This is for anyone interested in a thorough analysis of music as a commanding force in change as well as a continually evolving artistic presence." —Library Journal
"Reaching as well into the areas of punk rock, reggae, and finally hip-hop, Keep On Pushing admirably points out numerous key developments and connections throughout a vital, revolutionary element of popular music." —Under the Radar
“Denise Sullivan . . . makes political history come alive by framing it through a series of seminal musical moments. Whether she’s detailing how Nina Simone wrote ‘Mississippi Goddam’ in response to a bombing, or when she’s outlining how the Blank Panthers rewrote ‘Louie Louie’ with their own lyrics, her sweeping narrative adds much to the discourse on this overlooked part of music history.” —Charles R. Cross, author of Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix
“[A] terrific book. . .[Denise Sullivan's] assertions on progressive aspects of hip-hop are fundamental for anyone pursuing that cause in any form of text.” — Chris Estey, KEXP.org
"Great book [. . .] Go get it.” —ChuckD, @MrChuckD