Originally published in 1995, The Music of African American Fiction is a historical analysis of the tradition of representing music in African American fiction. The book examines the impact of evolving musical styles and innovative musicians on black culture as is manifested in the literature. The analysis begins with the slave narratives and the emergence of the first black fiction of the antebellum years and moves through the Reconstruction. This is followed by analyses of definitive fictional representations of African American music from the turn-of-the-century through Harlem Renaissance, the Depression and World War II eras through the 1960s and the Black Arts Movement. The representation of black music shapes a lineage that extends from the initial chronicles written in response to sub-human bondage to the declarations of an autonomous "black aesthetic" and dramatically influences the evolution of an African American literary tradition.