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Music from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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In honor of the Will to Adorn program, this Smithsonian Folkways Recordings playlist celebrates African American diversity, style, and aesthetics. The playlist features songs and poetry from the extensive Folkways catalog in which clothing, hairstyles, jewelry and other accessories, or style ornaments become protagonists in the larger song narrative.

Standouts tracks include a 1955 recording by Langston Hughes reciting his first published poetry about a beautiful classmate and her red dress; Lizzy Miles’ rendition of “Baby Let Me Bring My Clothes Back Home,” which laments the tensions in a relationship; and blues man Guy Davis’s “Nappy Hair,” an anthemic protest against prevailing ideas that African American people should use special hair products to manage their hair.

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