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Radio, Race, and Audible Difference in Post-1945 America

The Citizens Band

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  • © 2019


  • Focuses on voice and sound, an understudied dimension of race and gender studies
  • Illuminates the adaptation of citizens band (CB) radio technology by African Americans
  • Appeals to scholars and students of race and gender, communication studies, urban studies, American cultural studies, and post-1945 American history

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About this book

In the second half of the twentieth century, new sounds began to reverberate across the United States. The voices of African-Americans as well as of women, Latinx, queer, and trans people broke through in social movements, street protests, and in media stories of political and social disruption. Postwar America literally sounded different. This book argues that new technologies and new mobilities sharpened American attention to these audibly coded identities, on the radio, on the streets and highways, in new music, and on television. Covering the Puerto Rican migration to New York in the 1950s, the varying uses of CB radio by white and African American citizens in the 1970s, and the emergence of audible queerness, Art M. Blake attunes us to the sounds of race, mobility, and audible difference. As he argues, marginalized groups disrupted the postwar machine age by using new media technologies to make themselves heard.

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Table of contents (4 chapters)


“A standout study. At a time when media historians remain fixated on pre-1950s media, Blake reminds us of what CB radio represented for black and white communities during the 1970s. A smart, incisive, and accessible book on a woefully understudied topic.” (Dolores Inés Casillas, Associate Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UC Santa Barbara, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

    Art M. Blake

About the author

Art M. Blake is Associate Professor of History and a faculty member in the Communication and Culture graduate program at Ryerson University, Canada.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Radio, Race, and Audible Difference in Post-1945 America

  • Book Subtitle: The Citizens Band

  • Authors: Art M. Blake

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-31840-6Published: 19 November 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-31841-3Published: 08 November 2019

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 92

  • Topics: US History, African American Culture, History of Technology

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