Language, Rhythm, & Sound: Black Popular Cultures into the Twenty-first Century / Edition 1

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Focusing on expressions of popular culture among blacks in Africa, the United States, and the Carribean 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 clothl from rap video music to hip-hop to zouk.

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 place the many voices of popular black cultures into a global context.  It affirms that black culture everywhere functions to give meaning to people’s lives by constructing identities that resist cultural, capitolist, colonial, and postcolonial domination.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book is a very important collection. Its fusion of empirical research with methodological discourse will make it an important book for those interested in popular/urban cultures—not just black cultures.”
—Emmanuel Akyeampong, Harvard University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822956204
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 2/27/1997
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph K. Adjaye is associate professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Diplomacy and Diplomats in Nineteenth-century Asante, Time in the Black Experience.

Adrianne R. Andrews is assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and author of several articles on Africana women’s studies.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Popular Culture and the Black Experience 1
2 The Discourse of Kente Cloth: From Haute Couture to Mass Culture 23
3 Sarbeeb: The Art of Oblique Communication in Somali Culture 40
4 Nana Ampadu, the Sung-Tale Metaphor, and Protest Discourse in Contemporary Ghana 54
5 Using Afrikan Proverbs to Provide an Afrikan-Centered Narrative for Contemporary Afrikan-American Parental Values 74
6 The Frustrated Project of Soul in the Drama of Ed Bullins 90
7 Of Mules and Men and Men and Women: The Ritual of Talking B[l]ack 109
8 Debunking the Beauty Myth with Black Pop Culture in Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale 121
9 A Womanist Turn on the Hip-Hop Theme: Leslie Harris's Just Another Girl on the IRT 134
10 Translating Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop: The Musical Vernacular of Black Girls' Play 146
11 The Language Culture of Rap Music Videos 164
12 The Sound of Culture: Dread Discourse and Jamaican Sound Systems 185
13 "An-Ba-Chen'n La" (Chained Together): The Landscape of Kassav's Zouk 203
14 Mas' in Broklyn: Immigration, Race, and the Cultural Politics of Carnival 221
15 Popular Music, Appropriation, and the Circular Culture of Labor Migration in Southern Africa: The Case of South Africa and Malawi 241
16 Cultural Survivalisms and Marketplace Subversions: Black Popular Culture and Politics into the Twenty-first Century 259
Notes 275
References 293
Contributors 311
Index 315
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