We cannot love that which we do not know.
In necessary things, unity; in disputed things, liberty; in
all things, charity.
In tracing African-American music making from its roots in traditional Africa to its manifestations in the United States, I have focused on the roles of myth, ritual, and the tropes of Call—Response in the continuation of its character. From the African ring, through the ring shout of slave culture, the funeral‐ parade practices of the early New Orleans jazzmen, and Esu's revisiting of the bluesmen in the 1920s and the beboppers in the 1940s, to the free jazz of the 1960s and the concert-hall works of the 1980s and 1990s, the imperatives of myth and ritual have been evident.
On this journey, we have seen that just as "American civilization grew by getting people out on the verges" and as "a special American creativity [was] found not within the enclaves but on the borders between them" (Boorstin 1989, xxiv), so African creativity in America was also found on the verges—and, I might add, also at the crossroads—of African and American musical cultures. In the first three centuries of the African