I cannot stress too often the originality of this collection. It is a first in the field. The writing, editing, and organization are even and inviting to the general reader as well as the specialist. . . . A much-needed cutting-edge collection.
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.
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.