"Come on in North Side, you're just in time": Performance and the Negotiation of Ethnically Segregated Social Space

Author: T. M. Scruggs

Scruggs explores the ways that tenor saxophonist Von Freeman used both music and speech to create a sense of community and shared tradition through his performances at Chicago's Enterprise Lounge during the 1970s and 1980s. Based on Freeman's example, Scruggs notes that the distinct "communicative power" of music and spoken presentation reinforced each other to create "a social ‘enactment' of some of the community's deepest meanings and interrelationships" in the sharply segregated Chicago South Side. He therefore argues that musical creation itself is embedded in "a wider web of social engagement."