Stories » Dom Flemons Investigates the Mysteries of the Banjo at Duke University Libraries / DUKE Today

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Dom Flemons Investigates the Mysteries of the Banjo at Duke University Libraries / DUKE Today

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While the banjo is seen in a multitude of musical genres today, the instrument's history has the deepest roots in African culture during the enslavement times of the 17th century, in which it served as a tool to bring about solidarity and community, panelists discussed during a Faculty Bookwatch Tuesday evening. 

Moderated by Franklin Humanities Institute Director Deborah Jenson and co-sponsored by Duke University Libraries, the event centered around Laurent Dubois' latest book, The Banjo: America's African Instrument with a panel discussion between Laurent Dubois himself, musician Dom Flemons, banjo-builder and musician Pete Ross, and ethnomusicologists Robert Cantwell and Louise Meintjes. After a lively performance by Dom Flemons on the banjo and quill, panelists explored the Caribbean history of the banjo and its power to unify.

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