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A Song of the Unsung: “Swannanoa Tunnel” as a Testimony of Racism, Injustice, and Violence in the Blue Ridge Mountains – Mountain South Series

April 4 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

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This talk, held in the Reuter Center, Manheimer Room, will feature Kevin Kehrberg, musicologist and professional bassist, and Jeff Keith, historian and musician, both of Warren Wilson College, intertwining recordings, performances, and images with historical stories to explore the complexity of culture in the contemporary United States.

A song known as “Asheville Junction” (or “Swannanoa Tunnel”) can be considered an agent of history in at least two ways” as a song subject to its own musical trajectory through time and as a document testifying to a troubling episode in the past. This presentation explores the song’s emergence from the racist practice of “convict leasing” in the Jim Crow South and traces it forward into the bluegrass music canon.

Registration is required.

This panel is the second of three events in the Mountain South Lecture Series. Other events include the Hiking Western North Carolina, a panel on March 24 and “Fred Chappell – The Documentary” film screening on April 28.

This series is made possible with funding from Professorship of the Mountain South. For more information, contact Laura LaGrone at llagrone@unca.edu


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Visitor Parking

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April 4
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Professorship of the Mountain South


Reuter Center, Manheimer Room (102)