Ain't It Hard?: Suffering and Hope in the Blues
The reason this is important is that the Bible never pretends that evil and suffering are easy. But it gives them meaning.
In a famous review of Richard Wright's Black Boy in 1945, Ralph Ellison eloquently describes the blues as a form:
The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one's aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near comic lyricism. As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.
We should add that the blues is a performance. The &...