Introducing Nora Holt
Chelsea M. Daniel (University of Texas at Austin) and I co-authored a piece for Sounding Out! It's called "Black Excellence on the Airwaves: Nora Holt and the American Negro Program." Mixing personal reflection with diligent research, we explore how Holt's 1953 American Negro Artist Program was a site for racial uplift and advocacy. We discuss Holt's role as an advocate and champion of black artistic excellence at the peak of the Black Renaissance and show how her move into radio enabled further transmission of her activism, bringing her mission to a large, interracial listenership. We also include my performance of the only surviving solo piano piece by Holt called "Negro Dance" (1921).
"Black Excellence on the Airwaves" presents the unique opportunity for Holt to be heard, both in music and in speech—something that has yet to be unveiled in Holt historiographies.
Read the full essay below.