"Black Soundscapes White Stages" explores the role of sound in
understanding the African Diaspora on both sides of the Atlantic,
from the City of Light to the islands of the French Antilles. From
the writings of European travelers in the seventeenth century to
short-wave radio transmissions in the early twentieth century,
Edwin C. Hill Jr. uses music, folk song, film, and poetry to listen
for the tragic "cri negre."
Building a conceptualization of black Atlantic sound inspired by
Frantz Fanon's pioneering work on colonial speech and desire, Hill
contends that sound constitutes a terrain of contestation, both
violent and pleasurable, where colonial and anti-colonial ideas
about race and gender are critically imagined, inscribed, explored,
and resisted. In the process, this book explores the dreams and
realizations of black diasporic mobility and separation as
represented by some of its most powerful soundtexts and cultural
practitioners, and it poses questions about their legacies for us
In the process, thee dreams and realities of Black Atlantic
mobility and separation as represented by some of its most powerful
soundtexts and cultural practitioners, such as the poetry of
Leon-Gontran Damas--a founder of the Negritude movement--and
Josephine Baker's performance in the 1935 film "Princesse Tam Tam."
As the first in Johns Hopkins's new series on the African Diaspora,
this book offers new insight into the legacies of these exceptional
artists and their global influence.
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