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2011 - 96th Annual Convention Words: 13 words || 
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1. Okoye, Nkeiru. "Composing an Empowered Harriet Tubman, for an Empowered Audience" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, <Not Available>. 2019-06-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522259_index.html>
Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: When I chose Harriet Tubman as a subject for
a large--‐scale musical piece,my work
started
with
researching
ways
in
which
other
artists
represented
Tubman
theatrically.
What
I
found
changed
my
perception
of
how
historic
African
Americans
are
represented
in
general,
and
Tubman,
in
specific
by
European
Americans.
Overwhelmingly,
I
saw
‘master
narratives’
in
which
Blacks
were
portrayed
patronizingly,
spoke
in
dialect,
and
were
unable
to
function
without
White
counterparts
who
saved
them.
The
pieces
were
rife
with
historical
inaccuracies,
often
based
on
Tubman
myths
that
a
junior
researcher
could
have
debunked.
Additionally,
White
composers
portraying
Tubman
through
music
made
little
to
no
effort
in
referencing
the
rich
musical
fabric
of
Tubman’s
life

and
those
that
did
tended
to
use
spirituals
alone,
as
though
there
was
no
other
folk
music
to
be
found
within
African
American
culture.
Worse
yet,
most
of
the
pieces
were
written
for
education
audiences,
thus
unknowingly
inculcating
young
audiences
with
racist
portrayals
of
American
icons.
In
light
of
this,
as
a
composer,
an
educator,
and
a
Black
woman,
I
became
aware
quickly
of
a
need
to
use
specific
methodology
in
writing
about
Tubman’s
world,
and
that
beyond
this
challenge
was
the
greater
one
of
reaching
an
often
neglected
audience:
one
that
found
my
medium

classical
music

worse
yet,
opera

to
be
elitist,
inapproachable,
and
even
repugnant.
This
paper
and
accompanying
recital,
explores
my
combating
these
challenges
and
revealing
an
empowered
heroine
when
writing
the
folk
opera,
HARRIET
TUBMAN:
How
I
Crossed
that
Line
to
Freedom.


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