The annual prize recognizes the best book published for the first time and with a copyright date in that award year by a North American press in one of two fields — the history of French-American relations, or the comparative history of France and North, Central, or South America.
Day Moore’s book traces the popularization of African American music in postwar France, where it signaled new forms of power and protest. “By showing how the popularity of African American music was intertwined with contemporary structures of racism and imperialism,” the publisher’s website says, “[she] demonstrates this music’s centrality to postwar France and the convergence of decolonization, the expanding globalized economy, the Cold War, and worldwide liberation movements.”
As one reviewer noted, “Celeste Day Moore takes us on a dazzling and deeply researched tour through the soundscapes and multisensory experiences of the Francophone Black world. Soundscapes of Liberation is indispensable reading for scholars and students of the African Diaspora, liberation projects, and the circulation of music in the 20th century.”