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Introduction1

Introduction1

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction1
Source:
Chocolate Surrealism
Author(s):
Njoroge Njoroge
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496806895.003.0001

In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live.

—Ralph Ellison

Black music has always been a tremendous source of information and inspiration for musicians, dancers, and music lovers. Listening to the music opens new worlds and windows onto the rich history of black music, society, and struggle in the circum-Caribbean, and provides a rich archive of the creative musical genius of the African diaspora. Music always expresses the interrelationships of movement, memory, and history, but this is preeminently true of the music of the African diaspora. This book uses music as both optic and focus, to examine and rethink both the modes of black cultural production and social formations in the African diaspora. The music has always been both an expression of “black” life and part of the philosophy that developed and emerged with that life, “as history and as art” (...

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