IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES:
A JOURNEY TO THE SOUL OF BLACK TEXAS
Reading & Book Signing with BILL MINUTAGLIO
4:00 pm, Tuesday, April 27
The Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library, Seventh Floor
Admission is FREE.
STUDENTS are especially encouraged to attend.
Books will be for sale (paperback: $24.95) at the event by the University Bookstore.
Refreshments will be served.
Reading Bill Minutaglio is like listening to one of the great Texas blues legends. His reporting brings forth stories of suffering and resilience, while at the same time his dazzling writing evokes the brilliantly effusive guitar solos of masters like T-Bone Walker and Lightnin’ Hopkins.
— Steven L. Davis, Series Editor, Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series from the Wittliff Collections
The rich, complex lives of African Americans in Texas were often neglected by the mainstream media, which historically seldom ventured into Houston's Fourth Ward, San Antonio's East Side, South Dallas, or the black neighborhoods in smaller cities. When Bill Minutaglio began writing for Texas newspapers in the 1970s, few large publications had more than a token number of African American journalists, and they barely acknowledged the things of lasting importance to the African American community. Though hardly the most likely reporter for the black Texas beat—a white, Italian American transplant from New York City—Minutaglio was drawn to the African American heritage, seeking its soul in churches, on front porches, at juke joints, and anywhere else that people would allow him into their lives.
Minutaglio's stories offer an understanding of the sweeping evolution of music, race, and justice in Texas. He profiles individuals both unknown and famous, including blues legends Lightnin’ Hopkins, Amos Milburn, Robert Shaw, and Dr. Hepcat. He looks at neglected, even intentionally hidden, communities. And he wades into the musical undercurrent that touches on African Americans’ joys, longings, and frustrations, and the passing of generations. Moved forward by the musical heartbeat of the blues and defined by the long shadow of racism, the stories measure how far Texas has come . . . or still has to go.