Language, rhythm, & sound: Black popular cultures into the twenty-first century

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University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997 - Art - 324 pages
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Focusing on expressions of popular culture among blacks in Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean, this collection of multidisciplinary essays takes on subjects long overdue for study. Fifteen essays cover a world of topics, from American girls' Double Dutch games to protest discourse in Ghana; from Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale to the work of Zora Neale Hurston; from South African workers to Just Another Girl on the IRT; from the history of Rasta to the evolving significance of kente cloth; from rap video music to hip-hop to zouk.

No previous book has placed the many voices of black popular cultures into a global context, with an emphasis on the triangular flow of culture linking Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Language, Rhythm, and Sound powerfully demonstrates the continuity of black cultural forms from the African past into the future while simultaneously illuminating ongoing transformations in these forms. It affirms that black culture everywhere functions to give meaning to people's lives by constructing identities that resist cultural, capitalist, colonial, and postcolonial domination.

The contributors work through the prisms of many disciplines, including anthropology, communications, English, ethnomusicology, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political economy, psychology, and social work. Their interpretive approaches are informed by specializations in African studies, American studies, black studies, Atlantic studies, and women's studies.

"I cannot stress too often the originality of this collection. It is a first in the field. The writing, editing, and organization are even and inviting to the general reader as well as thespecialist. Language, Rhythm, and Sound is a much needed cutting-edge collection". Haki Madhubuti, Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, chicago State University

"This book is very important collection. Its fusion of emperical research with methodological discourse will make it an important reference book for those interested in popular/urban cultures -- not just black cultures". Emmanuel Akyeampong, Harvard University

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