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Race women—that is, Black women intellectuals and creatives committed to the entwined tasks of racial uplift and gendered progress—transformed interwar Chicago’s civic and social spheres. The South Side was a locus of activity; therein, Race women’s labor unfolded across an array of public and private settings, from dining rooms to church halls, from school auditoriums to the Wabash Avenue YMCA. They pursued their work with simultaneous independence and interconnectedness, rendering women’s leadership inseparable from community building. Music filled these spaces, acting as a binding agent in the formation of the South Side’s associational and institutional structures. In this talk, Dr Samantha Ege gives a short history of their work.

Please watch this video online before attending the session:

Speaker Biography:

Samantha Ege is the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. Her first book is called South Side Impresarios: Race Women in the Realm of Music (University of Illinois Press). She has been contracted as co-author of a Florence Price biography for the Master Musicians Series (Oxford University Press) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Florence B. Price.  

In 2021, she received the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for her recording project on Black Renaissance women composers. In 2019, she received the Society for American Music’s Eileen Southern Fellowship and Newberry Library Short-Term Residential Fellowship for her work on women's contributions to concert life in interwar Chicago.  

Ege released her debut album in May 2018, called Four Women: Music for solo piano by Florence Price, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Ethel Bilsland and Margaret Bonds. She released her critically acclaimed second album in March 2021, called Fantasie Nègre: The Piano Music of Florence Price. Her third album is called Black Renaissance Woman: Piano Music by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nora Holt, Betty Jackson King, and Helen Hagan and was released in February 2022.  

All welcome, this seminar is free to attend but booking is required.