"There I was, standing alone, unable to cry as I said goodbye to Sidimé Laye, my best friend, and to the revolution that had opened the door of modernity for methe revolution that had invented me." This book gives us the story of a quest for a childhood friend, for the past and present, and above all for an Africa that is struggling to find its future.
In 1996 Manthia Diawara, a distinguished professor of film and literature in New York City, returns to Guinea, thirty-two years after he and his family were expelled from the newly liberated country. He is beginning work on a documentary about Sékou Touré, the dictator who was Guinea's first post-independence leader. Despite the years that have gone by, Diawara expects to be welcomed as an insider, and is shocked to discover that he is not.
The Africa that Diawara finds is not the one on the verge of barbarism, as described in the Western press. Yet neither is it the Africa of his childhood, when the excitement of independence made everything seem possible for young Africans. His search for Sidimé Laye leads Diawara to profound meditations on Africa's culture. He suggests solutions that might overcome the stultifying legacy of colonialism and age-old social practices, yet that will mobilize indigenous strengths and energies.
In the face of Africa's dilemmas, Diawara accords an important role to the culture of the diaspora as well as to traditional music and literatureto James Brown, Miles Davis, and Salif Kéita, to Richard Wright, Spike Lee, and the ancient epics of the griots. And Diawara's journey enlightens us in the most disarming way with humor, conversations, and well-told tales.
|Publisher:||Harvard University Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
Manthia Diawara is Professor of Comparative Literature and Film, as well as Director of Africana Studies and the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University. He is the founder and editor of Black Renaissance Noire.
Table of Contents
Situation I: Sartre and African Modernism
1. In My Home
2. Williams Sassine on Afro-Pessimism Situation
Situation II: Richard Wright and Modern Africa
3. Cémoko's Sékou Touré
4. Return Narratives Djibril Tamsir Niane's Sundiata
Salif Kéita's Mandjou
Afro-Kitsch and Woodstock in Bamako
Toumani Diabaté: A Kora Master
Situation III: Malcolm X: Conversionists versus Culturalists
5. The Shape of the Future
Modernity Is in Evil Forest
Culture and Nationalism as Resistance to Globalization
The Markets in West Africa and the Devaluation of the CFA Franc
How to Compete
6. Finding Sidimé Laye
7. Africa's Art of Resistance
Blinded by My Loss
The Curse of the Masks
The Fang Byeri Statue as Primitive Art
Chéri Samba: The Stereotype Strikes Back
Sidimé Laye's Song of Resistance
8. Sidimé Laye One Year Later
Situation IV: Homeboy Cosmopolitan
The Homeboy and the Myth of Cain
The Black Man in Bondage: The Construction of Mobility in Superfly and Shaft
Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It
The 'Hood in Spike Lee's Cinema
Homeboys and the Reclaiming of the Stereotype in Black Film
Toward a New Common Ground and Mentality
What People are Saying About This
In Search of Africa brings us, all of us, home to a place we never knew. By traveling back and forth between cultures, continents, and languages -- by wrestling, and momentarily defeating, the deceptions of racial and class identities -- Manthia Diawarai's rare intellingence exposes the shared heart of modernity in Europe, Africa, and America.