cover image of Voices of Black America

Voices of Black America

Historical Recordings of Speeches, Poetry, Humor & Drama: 1908-1947

by Charley Case Narrator · Paul Laurence Dunbar Narrator


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This unique collection, compiled especially for Naxos Audiobooks, features original recordings from 1908–1946 of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address, the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, the rarely heard humour of Charley Case, readings from God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson, and much much more.

Producer's Note:

The recordings presented on these compact discs were made between 1908 and 1947 and, as might be expected, vary in quality. Rarity, condition, and the quality of the original recordings themselves all became major factors in their presentation. A few the Booker T. Washington, Charles Gilpin and J. Rosamond Johnson sides are extremely rare in their original form and can be found only on poor-quality shellac. To make matters worse, the copies available to us were not pristine. Robeson's Freedom Train may exist in only a few copies: the disc used was severely damaged, requiring computer technology to reduce excessive noise. Both of the sets included James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones and Poems by Langston Hughes, and were transcribed from mint copies, though the former, as published, consisted of dubbings from instantaneous discs and the latter was pressed on inferior material. Similarly, Charley Case's Father as a Scientist was released by Victor as a mechanical dubbing (designated S/8 in the wax) and could only be matched approximately to the sound of the other two sides recorded during the same session. Little was done initially to alter the sound of the original recordings but, ultimately, an effort to make them accessible to as large an audience as possible was seen as the most logical compromise. –William Shaman & Peter Adamson

Publication Details

Naxos AudioBooks
Publication Date:


  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook 48.9 MB
  • OverDrive Listen 48.9 MB


Narrator :
Bert Williams
Narrator :
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Narrator :
Booker T. Washington
Narrator :
Charles Sidney Gilpin
Narrator :
Charley Case
Narrator :
Paul Robeson
Narrator :
Langston Hughes
Narrator :
John Rosamond Johnson
Narrator :
James Johnson
Voices of Black America
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