Amplifying the Black Atlantic
This chapter outlines the three key theoretical concerns of the book—solidarity, modernism and media. Regarding solidarity, the chapter argues for the value of leisure practices such as music as instances of pan-Africanism. The chapter links this to how artists address the experience of being “modern” in Africa over the course of the long twentieth century. Taking African modernity as a long decolonizing process, during a period when black diasporic music circulated widely on the continent, the chapter historicizes the relationship between pan-African solidarity and modernity by tracing how the media of transmission have enabled music to do cultural work that gave rise to conceptual frameworks for articulating and promoting solidarity. The chapter is interested not merely in musical performances, but also recordings, transcriptions, literary and filmic representations in music and in how recordings and discourses of music circulate distinctively among various media forms and literary/filmic genres.
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