Black Hoboes & their Songs: What's the Use of Walking If There's a Freight Train Going Your Way? by Paul Garon & Gene Tomko

Charles H. Kerr Publishing

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“The music and poetry of black workers in motion - hoboing, hitchhiking, timbering, mining, railroading, loving, leaving, fighting back and searching for a new job, a new life and even a new world are brilliantly recorded and explained in this arresting collection.” - David Roediger

“Paul Garon has produced yet another masterpiece of cultural history. The stories and songs he gathers together in this remarkable book disrupt common notions of what we mean by 'freedom' when it comes to black folk. Hoboes represented a significant segment of the black working class, and their constant movements were both evidence of constraints and acts of freedom. And as he so eloquently demonstrates, the men and women who took to the road and their bards have much to teach us about America's ‘bottom rail.’” - Robin D G Kelley

Esteemed Chicago blues historian Paul Garon co-founded Living Blues magazine, authored The Devil's Son-In-Law: The Story of Peetie Wheatstraw & His Songs and Blues and the Poetic Spirit, and co-authored with Beth Garon Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues and with Gene Tomko What's the Use of Walking if There's a Freight Train Going Your Way? Black Hoboes & Their Songs.
Dimensions: 5.3 X 8.2", 296 pages
Materials: Softcover book


Charles H. Kerr Publishing
(South Chicago)

Founded by Charles Hope Kerr, a son of abolitionists, in 1886, Charles H. Kerr Publishing is the oldest continuously running radical publisher in the US, offering "subversive literature for the whole family." Close to the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World, Kerr brought out many Marxist classics, including the first complete English edition of Capital (1906–1909), as well as works by anarchist Peter Kropotkin, feminist Matilda Joslyn Gage, Irish revolutionist James Connolly, animal rights crusader J. Howard Moore, such noted U.S. socialists as Eugene V. Debs, “Mother” Jones, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Gustavus Myers, Carl Sandburg, William D. Haywood, Mary E. Marcy—whose Shop Talks on Economics (1911) sold over two million copies—and, more recently, Staughton Lynd, C. L. R. James, and Carlos Cortez.