Through our engagement with the ‘Freedom Singers’, we advocate for approaching the archive through the racial politics of atmosphere to understand both the affective, emotion-laden practices of the past and the affective work carried out by contemporary researchers within the archive. This atmosphere provides an important pathway for identifying and analyzing the relationality and encounters that advance a fuller study of the black experience and define what (and who) constitutes critical actors in that story. The Freedom Singers and their politico-musical legacy, while lost to many members of the public and even many scholars, offer an important lesson in broadening our appreciation of civil rights practice, as well as the practice of archival research itself. This piece contributes to broader understandings of the archive as an affective space and the role of affect in analyzing archive materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)