Black Roots: Frank Johnson, Joe Thompson and the fiddle in North Carolina

29:30
 
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Manage episode 347318478 series 3295571
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Acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens returns to her home state of North Carolina to explore the lives of two black fiddlers: Joe Thompson and Frank Johnson. Johnson was one of the first black celebrities in the southern states of the US. Born into slavery, he bought freedom for himself and his family on the back of his profits as a musician. More than 2,000 people processed through Wilmington, North Carolina for his funeral in 1871. Though he died before the start of the recording industry, his music was passed down through generations of black fiddlers in the region. The last of these fiddlers was Joe Thompson.

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