Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
The following paper examines the evolution of the Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project (SFCRP) between 1966 and 1976. Founded in 1965 by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Anne Romaine, the SFCRP brought together an interracial coalition of musicians to tour the South and emphasize the shared cultural heritage of blacks and whites in the region. This paper traces the organization’s trajectory from its origins in the Civil Rights Movement to its shift to new and younger audiences in the form of public school projects and finally to the conflicts the organization grappled with in the mid-1970s. Specifically, tensions surfaced in the organization around cultural politics as the political organizing environment evolved. As the SFCRP adapted its programming to new audiences, African American musicians envisioned alternative pathways of cultural work outside interracial cultural exchange in the post-Jim Crow South.