What's the Use of Walking When There's a Freight Train Going Your Way?: Black Hoboes and Their Songs
by Paul Garon and Gene Tomko
Another wonderful slice of political, cultural, and social history. Better yet, it comes ‘illustrated’ with a CD, with 25 original recordings. Plus, the work is full of the lyrics, art, and photographs of people and their times.
“The music and poetry of black workers in motion – hoboing, hitchhiking, timbering, mining, railroading, loving, leaving, fighting back and searching for a new job, a new life and even a new world are brilliantly recorded and explained in this arresting collection.” -David Roediger
“Paul Garon has produced yet another masterpiece of cultural history. The stories and songs he gathers together in this remarkable book disrupt common notions of what we mean by ‘freedom’ when it comes to black folk. Hoboes represented a significant segment of the black working class, and their constant movements were both evidence of constraints and acts of freedom. And as he so eloquently demonstrates, the men and women who took to the road and their bards have much to teach us about America’s ‘bottom rail.’” -Robin D G Kelley