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Keep Your Head to the Sky

Interpreting African American Home Ground
Grey Gundaker, ed.

BUY Paper · 344 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813918242 · $26.50 · Dec 1998

The concept of African American home ground knits together diverse aspects of the American landscape, from elite suburbs and tower apartments to the old homeplaces of the countryside, to the tabletop array of family photos beside the bed of a housebound elder. This fascinating volume focuses on ways African Americans have invested actual and symbolic landscapes with signifigance, gained the means to acquire property, and brought new insight to the interpretation of contemporary, historical, and archaelogical sites. Keep Your Head to the Sky demonstrates how visions of home, past and present, have helped to shape African Americans' sense of place, often under extremely hostile conditions.


Keep Your Head to the Sky is a ground-breaking work. The first book to focus on a crucial aspect of African American culture, it examines the ways in which an exiled people has located itself through such activities as 'yard work.' Gundaker brings togeth some of the top scholars in the field, as well as a number of exciting new voices. While the resulting material is often controversial, it is well-argued and thoroughly documented.

Judith Wilson, University of California-Irvine

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